Since the calendar turned to 2018, the Sioux Falls Skyforce have not experienced consecutive losses. Beating the Greensboro Swarm 121-107 kept that string intact on Friday night at the Sanford Pentagon.

Much of the Greensboro (13-28) early success came through offensive rebounds in the first half. Eleven caroms gave the Swarm the opportunity to parlay that into 16 second chance points and the half time score was 60-59 in favor of the hosts.

That trend was noted by Head Coach Nevada Smith and the players responded by only allowing two offensive boards in the second half.

“It was a point of emphasis that we had to do a better job. We were creating misses and we had to punish them by grabbing the rebound and getting to the other end.”

By closing off the well of second chances, the Swarm were only able to draw upon initial offense which consisted of the exploits of uber veteran Damian Wilkins who finished tops in four categories for Greensboro (26 points, 9, rebounds 5 assists in 34 minutes). Cat Barber finished a close second with 25 points off the bench.

Sioux Falls (23-18) also welcomed back Torrey Craig who suited up for the ‘Force after spending considerable time with the Denver Nuggets. Craig is returning from a leg injury and that has prevented him from seeing much court time over the past three weeks, but felt the Skyforce second half defense was vital in the win.

“We had some lazy collapses in the first half, so we came out with more energy in the second half and locked in mentally defensively. Offensively we needed to keep it simple not try to play too much one on one and move the ball plus take advantage how they played our ball screens.”

Craig’s contributions came in many different ways with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks in his first Skyforce game since December 13. Briante Weber hit buckets in bunches highlighted by 7 three pointers to finish with 25 points while Derrick Walton, Jr. scored 17 and dealt 8 assists.

Greensboro heads home to face Maine on Sunday. Meanwhile Sioux Falls is back in business against Texas on Saturday.


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