Skyforce Defense Defuses Iowa Energy
Five of eight hard-fought games between the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Iowa Energy are in the books, all of them at the Sanford Pentagon. Three of the five went to the home team capped by a 97-84 Skyforce wire to wire triumph with 2,568 in attendance on Thursday night.
Sioux Falls (16-9) led by double digits for a majority of the game eventually building a 64-37 lead early in the third quarter. Iowa (16-10) found its bearings and was able to reel off a 22-2 run to cut the lead down to seven points. That eight minute good stretch for Iowa was the extent of what the Skyforce would allow. According to Skyforce forward Henry Walker the team hasn’t been the case lately. “We all had to man up. There comes a time when you can’t keep giving a hundred points up every game. It’s a pride thing. Everybody just buckled down and really got glued into the defensive side of the game.”
Iowa had their lowest point total of the season, committed 25 turnovers had 10 shots blocked and shot under 40 percent from the floor. DeAndre Liggins would be considered the main Skyforce defensive catalyst by picking up 7 steals which gives him 70 on the season which leads the NBA Development League. Liggins had the usual well rounded line of 18 points, with 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks cementing his status as a top prospect. Center Justin Hamilton connected for 26 points with 11 boards of his own with guard Tre Kelley adding 23 points notching his fifth straight 20-point game. The Energy got most of their output from Moses Ehambe who scored 17 points with 8 rebounds.
More tussles between these two teams all in Des Moines lie ahead as Saturday night is game six in the eight game season series. The following Thursday, February 6, will be game seven with a final contest on March 17.