Friday, February 8: Erie BayHawks 115, Skyforce 107
Saturday, February 9: Skyforce 103, BayHawks 88
The Sioux Falls Skyforce entered the week 2nd in the Central Division with a record of 17-11. After dropping a tight one to Erie on Friday night, they responded nicely with a win to split the two-game series and put an end to the BayHawks’ three-game winning streak. The Skyforce also clinched the season series against the BayHawks, having taken 2 of 3. The reserves were the story Friday as Erie’s bench dominated their counterparts, 50-5. The Skyforce bench, led by Damian Saunders with 11 points, played much better on Saturday and outscored the RedHawks’ backups, 36-23.
Donald Sloan was the story this week, as he has been nearly every game since signing with the Skyforce in early January. Sloan tallied 34 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds on Friday and followed up his career night with 22 points, 10 helpers and 6 boards on Saturday. Sloan, who has played in 56 NBA games for three different franchises including 45 with the Cavaliers, is 9th in the D-League in both scoring and assists with 22.1 points and 7.1 dimes per game. His impressive play has taken some of the load off of Mark Tyndale, who appears to be settling in nicely to his new role as first guard off the bench.
Another positive from this week is the inspired play of Demetris Nichols, who averaged 23 points and 8 rebounds in two games this week against Erie. The Syracuse grad has played well of late, scoring 22+ points in four straight games. Along with Sloan, Nichols will be a crucial part of the Skyforce going forward.
The Skyforce are back at it Tuesday, February 12th, against the Iowa Energy.
Notes: Saunders blocked a career-high 7 shots on Friday night; Erie outrebounded Sioux Falls on Saturday, 57-41