Sioux Falls Skyforce Get Huge Road Win At Austin
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A tight game came down to a final play and the Sioux Falls Skyforce made one last defensive stand and toppled the Austin Toros 92-90 in a huge road victory Wednesday night among a myriad of playoff implications. Austin currently resides in the 5th spot in the NBA Development League standings and Sioux Falls is 7th with Tulsa sandwiched between.
Neither team had a lengthy run during the course of the game. Austin (25-20) had a couple of 7-0 strings and Sioux Falls (24-21) put together two 8-0 bursts in the second half. The surge that had the most damaging effect started with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter as Sioux Falls took a two point game and pushed it to ten points and the first double digit lead for either team of the game. Ira Newble assistant coach of the Toros admitted after the game it was that particular stretch that decided the game.
Both teams also had their head scratching moments in the closing stages. In particular, Austin’s Aron Baynes who inexplicably incurred a flagrant foul during the course of positioning for a rebound on a free throw attempt. Austin was in the course of cutting the Sioux Falls lead to three when the San Antonio Spurs assignee got too aggressive and gave Sioux Falls two free and the ball with 2:48 left. Well, Baynes is from Down Under so maybe he thought it was Australian rules. Sioux Falls who has seen some games slip away late had a two point lead with 24.6 seconds left and turned it over against backcourt pressure.
Thus when the game hung on a possession where the home team had to score, the clamps went down and the Toros were left with a very difficult shot for the tie that missed. Overall, Sioux Falls can be pleased with their defensive effort holding Austin to 39 percent shooting from the floor while the Skyforce had it clicking to the tune of 54 percent. In fact Sioux Falls had one more basket than Austin and accomplished the feat with thirteen less shots.
Jarvis Varnado had the hottest hand for Sioux Falls as the Miami Heat assignee scored 23 with 5 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocked shots before fouling out. Demetris Nichols added 20 points with 9 rebounds. For the Toros, Tre Kelley posted 23 points and Jamarr Sanders chipped in 15. Both teams have tough division rivalries ahead this weekend with Austin facing Tulsa twice while Sioux Falls plays at the division leading Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Friday and Saturday night.