In their first meeting of the season, the Iowa Wolves secured the victory 106-99 over the Sioux Falls Skyforce at the Sanford Pentagon with three more meetings yet to come.

Iowa (6-9) sizzled right out of the gate shooting 71 percent in the first quarter before Sioux Falls (7-9) clamped down defensively to close the half up by five. Once grabbing the lead after intermission, the Wolves weathered every storm.

Skyforce Coach Nevada Smith credits his team for bouncing back defensively from a rough start.

“Our first quarter defensively we were awful. The last three quarters we turned up the physicality a little bit. We were able to get into the passing lanes, get a couple of tips and really close the gap that they built in the first quarter. Defensively we’re still getting better, but we’ve got to do a better job at that end.”

That early lack of defensive urgency was offset by Skyforce guard Larry Drew II who scored 11 in the first quarter, but admits they have to fully commit to disrupting the opponent.

“Our team is predicated on our defense. Nights where we come in and we set a defensive tone from the jump, it’s going to be easier for us on the offensive end. We weren’t able to do that tonight and we had to find other ways to make plays and help us get back into the game.”

Tony Mitchell led the way with 25 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds while Drew had 17 points and new acquisition Alonzo Gee had 15 points off the bench. Iowa’s leaders were Anthony Brown with 25 points followed by the 24 points and 7 assists from Melo Trimble.

Iowa returns home to meet Memphis on Tuesday while Sioux Falls will be in Reno on Wednesday to face the Bighorns.

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