SIOUX FALLS, S. D. — The Texas Legends (5-3) held the Sioux Falls Skyforce (3-6) to 15 fourth-quarter points to take a hard-fought 106-104 victory Wednesday night in South Dakota.
Dakota Mathias knocked down his first three seconds into the game, setting the tone for a career night. Texas would go on to take their largest lead of the night (+18) eight minutes in but Marcus Lee would knock down six in the final four minutes to power a 10-3 Sioux Falls streak to the buzzer. Down by 11, Lee opened the second with another slam to cut the deficit to single digits, but Aric Holman had an answer from beyond the arc. Texas knocked down 7-of-10 outside to maintain their lead at the half, despite Sioux Falls winning the second 33-31. The lead would change hands only twice, dramatically in the second half.
The Skyforce came out of the locker room firing while Texas iced. After eight straight to open the third, Sioux Falls fumbled a chance to take the lead and Josh Reaves took advantage with another long ball to bring Texas to safety up four. With five minutes to go in the third, the home team took control, knocking down 12 unanswered points and heading into the final 12 minutes up 89-82. Sioux Falls held tightly to their first lead of the game, broadening the gap to 10 midway through the fourth, but Texas answered the challenge with an 11-1 run to tie it up 103-all with 1:22 on the clock. Kyle Alexander split his free throws and Antonius Cleveland came down with the rebound to give Texas control down 103-104. Catching the inbound, Mathias knocked down his eighth three-ball to seal the deal for the Legends’ third straight victory.
Mathias led all scorers with a season-high 30 points on 8-of-10 outside while adding 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Two-ways Antonius Cleveland and Josh Reaves synced up for 19 points, 3 rebounds each while Nate Mason finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. Aric Holman came off the bench for 11 points, 5 rebounds joined by Brandon Fields who rounded out the double-digits with 10 points, 2 assists.
Daryl Macon led Sioux Falls’ efforts with 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists while Alexander finished with the night’s only double-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds.