Skyforce Vanquish Vipers to Earn Lone Star State Split
A quick third quarter swing launched the Sioux Falls Skyforce to triumph over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 147-133 Saturday night at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo Texas. The win balanced the two-game swing after a Thursday setback to the Legends on Thursday.
Obviously with the prodigious point total, both teams were strong on offensive conversions by shooting a combined 56 percent from the floor. Sioux Falls (16-16) was on the higher side of the overall total at 59 percent.
Let’s return to the late third quarter mojo that turned the tide as a 16-2 Skyforce run turned a Vipers (19-14) seven-point advantage into the same margin for the visitors. The impending tailspin lasted midway through the fourth quarter as the lead grew to 23 points. By the time RGV recovered, there wasn’t enough runway to make a safe landing.
One other facet of the season series held true throughout the three matchups. The group that had Briante Weber on the roster picked up the win as the Rockets previously had Weber in their midst during his two-way contract and was with Rio Grande Valley when the two teams played in Sioux Falls in November.
Weber was just shy of a triple-double with 20 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds as one of four Skyforce players to score 20 or more. A career high 37 points from Ike Nwamu plus 8 assists and 7 rebounds was the foundation as Kadeem Jack (28 points) and Tony Mitchell (24 points) were also up to the task.
Rio Grande Valley had two such players to accomplish the same status. R.J. Hunter notching 35 points and 13 assists being one and Chinanu Onuaku (20 points, 10 rebounds) being the other.
Sioux Falls will beat a path home to meet the Iowa Wolves on Monday. Meanwhile Rio Grande Valley gets to wait until Wednesday to visit the Memphis Hustle.