66ers Drop One to the Skyforce 98-90

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., January 23, 2010 – Mustafa Shakur scored 18 points, dished out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds as the Tulsa 66ers fell to the Sioux Falls Skyforce 98-90 Saturday night at the Sioux Falls Arena. The 66ers shot 42 percent (34-81) and the Skyforce shot 44 percent (33-75) from the field. The 66ers fell to 12-10 on the season, while the Skyforce improved to 12-12.

The Skyforce led 21-20 after the first quarter, as the teams traded baskets throughout, accounting for four lead changes and seven times tied in the period. The 66ers shot 8-for-20 in the quarter, led by Cecil Brown’s seven points, while the Skyforce were led by Raymond Sykes with nine points and seven rebounds in the quarter. Sioux Falls shot 8-for-17 in the period.

Early in the second quarter, two Brown free throws put the 66ers ahead 26-23, but the Skyforce subsequently went on a 13-2 run in the next 1:24 to give them a 36-28 lead with 5:20 left in the half. A free throw and a three-point play by Chris Richard in the final minute brought the 66ers to within 44-48 at halftime. David Bailey scored 10 second quarter points as the Skyforce shot 47.8 percent (11-23) from the field. Deron Washington came off the bench for the 66ers to score seven points in the period, as Tulsa shot 42.9 percent (9-21).

A Reggie Williams three-pointer capped a 6-0 run for the Skyforce to start the third quarter, expanding their lead to 54-44 with 9:49 remaining. Midway through the quarter and Sioux Falls up 59-50, a Shakur three-pointer sparked a 13-2 run by the 66ers, as Brown hit two straight threes to go ahead 63-61 with 4:50 left in the period. The teams matched baskets until the two-minute mark, when the Skyforce finished the third quarter on an 8-0 run to go into the final quarter with a 76-68 edge. Sioux Falls shot 8-for-14 from the field in the period, while Tulsa shot 9-for-23.

Shakur scored 10 points in the final quarter, as the 66ers were able to pull to within three at 80-77 with 7:33 remaining after a Moses Ehambe jumper. But a 10-0 run by the Skyforce extended their lead to 90-77 with 2:12 remaining in the game, and Sioux Falls shot 8-for-10 in the quarter from the free throw line to secure the win.

Led by Shakur, the 66ers finished with five players in doubles figures scoring. Larry Owens had 17 points and seven rebounds, while Brown added 15 points. Richard finished with his first double-double of the season, since being acquired on Jan. 14, with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Skyforce finished with six players in double digit scoring. Bailey led Sioux Falls with 18 points, while Sykes had his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Keith Brumbaugh added 15 points and nine boards off the bench, while Greg Stiemsma had 13 points. Williams finished with 12 points and Mike Nelson had 10 points.

The 66ers will return home to face the Iowa Energy on Jan. 28 and 29. On Jan. 29, fans will see a triple-header as McLain High School will host Memorial in girls and boys varsity action prior to the 66ers game. The girls game tips off at 4:00 p.m., the boys will start at approx. 5:30 p.m. , with the 66ers game following. The Skyforce will travel to Rio Grande Valley to face the Vipers on Jan. 28 and 29 before coming to Tulsa on Sunday, Jan. 31.

Updated 01-24-2010

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