A blistering pace at the start put the Sioux Falls Skyforce in position to tame the Texas Legends 148-122 Friday night at the Sanford Pentagon.

Both teams wanted to play fast, but Sioux Falls (15-5) and their 46-point barrage to start the game set the ultimate tone. In that opening 12 minutes the Skyforce shot 75 percent from the floor and hit all five foul shots taken.

The point total tied for second most in franchise history. Sioux Falls also scored 148 points on February 3, 1991 against Yakima and it’s only the twelfth time that the team has reached the 140 mark in 28 seasons. Only the 158 scored against Omaha on December 13, 1994 was better.

Individually, Keith Benson backed up his Player of the Month award in December with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks. Briante Weber found his rhythm on his way to 23 points, 10 assists and 6 steals.

Having two players on assignment from the Denver Nuggets was also beneficial with both Malik Beasley (16 points) and Juancho Hernangomez (17 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks) shining in the second half. Hernangomez felt warmly received by both the team and the fans.

“The coaches and players really helped me make an easy transition. I only had one real practice before the game. I was really excited before the game because I was told that these fans are unbelievable. It’s true. Even the little kids will try to crack you up and get you laughing. It was great.”

Texas (10-8) was only able to cut the lead down to 13 late in the third quarter. Plus a slow start by the Legends’ Manny Harris was also a key factor. The NBADL’s leading scorer did warm up to finish with 28 points.

Skyforce Head Coach Nevada Smith noted the dogged determination of Kyle Collinsworth who finished with 16 points, 17 rebounds and 6 steals. “He was the most aggressive player (when it comes to hustling). He did a lot of stuff we’ve got to limit tomorrow. We’ve got to do a better job getting a body on him to keep him off the glass.”

The same two teams will meet again on Saturday night in Sioux Falls.

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