A see-saw battle during most of the first half took a hard pivot toward the home team near the end of the second quarter, helping the Sioux Falls Skyforce defeat the Northern Arizona Suns 109-99 at the Sanford Pentagon Wednesday night.

Each team traded blows until Sioux Falls (4-0) went into halftime on a 9-1 run that provided the cushion to keep the Suns (1-2) at arms length.

Skyforce Head Coach Nevada Smith says they made adjustments in the second quarter that made the difference.

“First quarter wasn’t us. Second, third and fourth quarter we locked down and held them under 25 (points). Our effort level picked up, our voice picked up, and we were able to execute against their actions.”

Skyforce Forward Raphiael Putney adds that being more effective on the boards helped as the game played out.

“I think later in the game we rebounded better. Early on we weren’t focused on rebounding the basketball. They were getting a lot of second chance points. Later when the game when we needed it the most, we rebounded the ball well.”

Yante Maten posted his third double-double in the first four games with 32 points and 10 rebounds and Putney scored 15. Northern Arizona’s George King led the Suns with 21 points and 10 boards followed by Jawun Evans with 18 points.

Sioux Falls will finish their homestand against the Wisconsin Herd on Saturday, while Northern Arizona is off to Texas to meet the Austin Spurs on Friday.

 

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