For the first time this season, the Sioux Falls Skyforce drop consecutive games falling to the Santa Cruz Warriors 94-89 Friday night at Kaiser Pemanente Arena.

Not sure what it is about the Warriors (11-4), but there seems to be a stronger defensive tone set when these two teams gather. It’s the first time this season that the Skyforce (11-5) scored less than 100 points and the last time Sioux Falls scored less than 90 it was at home on December 1, 2017 against the Sea Dubs.

Another defensive hallmark of this contest stems from Santa Cruz not scoring over the final 3:30 of the game and still winning. Sioux Falls only could muste a pair of three point baskets during that fateful stretch.

Duncan Robinson had the best shooting totals for the ‘Force, hitting 7 of 12 from long range and finishing with 25 points. Jarnell Stokes in his first start of the season had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Raphiael Putney nearly got a double-double with his 12 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks.

Meanwhile Kendrick Nunn sparkled off the bench for Santa Cruz providing that “Vinnie Johnson” punch with 28 points with Marcus Derrickson scoring 21.

The next challenge for both these teams arrives Saturday night when Sioux Falls heads down the coast to El Segundo to play the South Bay Lakers. Meanwhile Santa Cruz will meet their next defensive challenge against Erie, the highest scoring team in the league.

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