Sioux Falls, SD – Six days between games didn’t slow down the Sioux Falls Skyforce as they returned to their winning ways Friday night, taking the first game of the back-to-back series against the Delaware 87ers, 115-99, for their fifth consecutive win by double digits.
The Skyforce (5-2) led 66-52 with 9:24 remaining in the third quarter, but Delaware (4-4) went on an 18-6 run to trim the Skyforce lead to two, 72-70. The Skyforce then responded with a 13-5 run of their own to get the lead back to double digits, 85-75, and never looked back.
The Skyforce had three players reach 20-plus points for the first game this season. Greg Whittington poured in a game-high 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field to go along with seven rebounds and a season-high six steals. Tre Kelley contributed 20 points along with a season-high 10 assists and just two turnovers while shooting 7-of-14 from the field. Rodney McGruder chipped in a season-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-4 from three-point range.
DeAndre Liggins, who entered tonight tied for fourth in the NBADL in assists per game (6.3) continues his all-around efforts, adding 10 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. Keith Benson also added 12 points and has now scored in double figures in all seven of the team’s games.
The 87ers backcourt duo of Sean Kilpatrick and Jordan McRae entered Friday’s contest with a combined 38 three-pointers made with a collective 45.2 three-point percentage. The Skyforce defense limited the 87ers to just 28 percent (7-of-25) shooting from downtown, including just three combined three-pointers made from the duo.
Kilpatrick, last week’s D-League Performer of the Week, finished with 19 points and McRae recorded a team-high 22 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line.