SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The one thing the Sioux Falls Skyforce (11-3) had yet to face in their 6-0 start at home was a true test. That is, until Wednesday night against the Santa Cruz Warriors (7-8).
The Skyforce won each of their first six games at the Sanford Pentagon by at least nine points, but found themselves trailing in the fourth quarter of a 112-107 win over Santa Cruz.
Sioux Falls led by as many as 12 in the first half but the Warriors tied the game at 75 by the end of the third quarter.
Less than a minute into the fourth, Keith Benson finished a tough shot and Ike Nwamu drilled a triple to give Sioux Falls an 80-75. But Santa Cruz battled back, eventually pulling ahead 87-86 with 8:34 to play.
That’s when the Skyforce turned it on.
Patrick Miller, Benson and Jabril Trawick went on to score the next 14 Sioux Falls points as part of a 16-4 run that gave the Skyforce a 102-91 lead with 3:44 left in the game.
That trio ultimately scored 27 of Sioux Falls’ 37 points in the fourth quarter.
The Skyforce largely controlled the game after taking the 11-point lead, though a 3-pointer from LaDontae Henton pulled Santa Cruz within four with 3.6 seconds remaining.
Benson led Sioux Falls with 23 points and seven rebounds. Trawick scored 20 of his 22 points after halftime and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds. Briante Weber had five steals for the second consecutive game.
The Sioux Falls bench of Miller, Nwamu, Henry Walker and Luis Montero combined for a season-high 51 points and 18 rebounds.
It’s the Skyforce’s 17th-straight regular season win dating back to last season.
The Skyforce face the Iowa Energy on the road Friday at 7 p.m. before hosting Northern Arizona on Christmas Day.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Skyforce
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