Sioux Falls Skyforce Surrender to Vipers on Second Straight Night
For the second straight night, the visiting Rio Grande Valley Vipers reigned supreme by vanquishing the Sioux Falls Skyforce 122-108 at the Sanford Pentagon.
These two games on consecutive nights with the same team were mostly similar with the Vipers (20-14) grabbing and early lead and keeping it for the rest of the game. Where RGV improved the most from one game to the next was on defense and rebounding.
Sioux Falls (22-13) had a hard time converting their long range baskets which led to tight quarters in the painted area. The Vipers gobbled up most of the misses by posting a 49-33 edge on the boards.
Skyforce Head Coach Nevada Smith explains that most of the challenge begins with what happens before the shot goes up.
"We're never going to be a great rebounding team when we're giving up 50 percent from the floor. We've got to give up low 40's and then we'll win the rebounding battle. It's mostly how you guard and how much you make them miss. They made us miss more so their rebounding numbers are better."
Guard Jabril Trawick also noted that the Vipers were able to work their plan especially in the first half.
"When you've got guards that can get into the lane at will like that, they've got the option to spray to the open guys on the wing or drop it off to the big man rolling. I feel like we definitely had great energy and effort in the second half, but like the first game we dug too deep of a hole."
Kyle Wiltjer who is on assignment from the Houston Rockets lit the board for 27 points and 6 rebounds to lead RGV. Close behind was Isaiah Taylor who netted 25 points and Chinanu Onuaku posted 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Keith Benson got double-double number 22 this season with 21 points and 10 boards for the Skyforce. Patrick Miller muscled in 20 points and Trawick finished with 18 tallies.
Both teams will have a Tuesday game before the All-Star break. Sioux Falls will host the Iowa Energy with the Vipers entertaining the Texas Legends.