Sioux Falls, SD (Mar. 7, 2015) – The Sioux Falls Skyforce used a 32-8 run over the final 10:45 of the game to defeat the Grand Rapids Drive 105-96. The Skyforce win, paired with a Fort Wayne Mad Ants loss, puts Sioux Falls at the top of the Central Division with 11 games remaining.
Sioux Falls (22-17) would not trail in the opening quarter and took a 33-21 lead into the second quarter. Andre Dawkins’ 11 first quarter points (4-5 FG, 3-4 3FG) led all scorers. Grand Rapids (17-21) would begin to cut into the deficit and trailed 38-33 after a Diante Garrett three-pointed capped off a quick 6-0 run for the Drive. The Skyforce lead would quickly grow to nine before the Drive ended the quarter on a 19-6 run to take a 52-48 lead into the halftime break.
Grand Rapids would continue to extend their lead and a 10-0 run gave them a 77-60 lead with 4:01 remaining in the third quarter. The Drive’s lead would remain in double figures for the rest of the quarter and they took an 86-73 lead into the final quarter. 16 third quarter points from Adonis Thomas led the Drive’s charge and gave him 26 points through three quarter. The Drive outscored the Skyforce 65-40 over the second and third quarter.
A driving lay-up from Kevin Murphy gave the Drive an 88-73 lead with 11:10 remaining in the game. With 8:52 remaining in the game, Drive center Hasheem Thabeet was ejected after receiving two technical fouls for arguing a foul call. Dawkins would make three-of-four free throws and the Skyforce trailed 88-83. Stefhon Hannah would make a lay-up on the next Drive possession to make the score 90-83 with 8:40 remaining in the game.
Over the next six minutes, Sioux Falls would go on a 16-0 run and take a 96-90 lead on a Fuquan Edwin three-pointer with 3:38 remaining in the game. A Kelsey Barlow jump shot would bring the Drive within three with 1:05 remaining in the game but that is as close as they would get. A dunk from Edwin with 1.6 remaining gave him 11 fourth quarter points and put an exclamation point on Sioux Falls’ 32-8 run en route to a 105-96 victory. Grand Rapid’s 10 fourth quarter points are the fewest scored by a Skyforce opponent in any quarter this season.
Andre Dawkins led the Skyforce with 26 points, shooting 7-18 from the field and 9-11 from the charity stripe. Fuquan Edwin came off the bench to score 24 points, 11 of which came in the final quarter. Shawn Jones also came off the bench to score in double-figures and finished with 11 points to go along with a game-high 14 rebounds. The double-double from Jones is his team leading thirteenth double-double of the season.
Kevin Murphy came off the bench for Grand Rapids and scored a game-high 27 points on 13-26 shooting from the field. Adonis Thomas was right behind him, scoring 26 points as well as grabbing six rebounds. Hasheem Thabeet recorded 10 points, nine rebounds and a game-high six blocks before being ejected with 8:52 remaining in the game.