The Springfield Armor, presented by MGM Springfield, fell 118-111 tonight to the Sioux Falls Skyforce before 4,755 at the MassMutual Center in the Armor’s opening night game. The Skyforce improves to 2-0 with the victory, while the Armor fall to 1-1.
Sioux Falls got off to a strong start tonight, connecting on 18-of-24 shots (.750) to establish a 42-29 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Andrew Goudelock’s 13 points fueled the Skyforce’s early offensive success.
In the second quarter, Sioux Falls extended its lead to 55-38, the biggest deficit the Armor faced all evening, on a Demetris Nichols put-back layup with 5:49 to go in the half. The Armor battled back with a late 17-5 run to trim the lead to 60-55 by halftime. Ben Uzoh led the Armor with 12 first-half points. Troy Hudson (14 points) led four Sioux Falls players in double figures by the break.
The Armor began the third quarter by rallying to take their first lead of the game, 63-62, on a Chas McFarland layup just over three minutes into the period. Springfield extended its lead to 81-74 on a Cliff Tucker three-pointer before the Skyforce closed the quarter on 9-4 run to cut the Armor lead to 85-83 after three quarters. Mike Davis came off the Sioux Falls bench to score 12 points in six minutes in the third to help keep the Skyforce close.
Springfield didn’t trail again until a running layup by the Skyforce’s Hudson broke a 102-102 tie with 3:13 to go. After a James Mays dunk evened the game again, Sioux Falls rattled off a 14-4 run to pull ahead 118-108. A Christian Polk three-pointer in the final seconds completed the scoring on the evening.
Polk led five Armor players in double figures with 21 points, including 5-of-10 from behind the arc. Mays tallied his second straight double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds), Uzoh added 17 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists and Willie Reed came off the bench to post 14 points and 8 rebounds.
The Armor out-rebounded Sioux Falls 53-46, including a 22-12 advantage on the offensive glass. Sioux Falls buried 28-38 (.737) from the foul line, while Springfield hit just 18-30 (.600).
The Skyforce’s Goudelock led six Sioux Falls players in double figures with a game-high 24 points. Jarvis Varnado added 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting, 8 rebounds and 8 blocks and Nichols contributed a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Armor return to action on Sunday when they host the Los Angeles D-Fenders at 3:00 pm at the MassMutual Center. The Skyforce completes the weekend in Maine against the Red Claws at 1:00 pm at the Portland Expo.
Courtesy: Eli Pearlstein, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Springfield Armor, NBA Development League