A defensive stand for the ages marked the end of regulation which led to a Sioux Falls Skyforce breakthrough in overtime over the Austin Spurs 122-118 Wednesday night at the Sanford Pentagon.

Skyforce Head Coach Nevada Smith believes his team pulled together in the wake of an injury to Yante Maten and the other big man Raphiael Putney fouling out.

“We just got gritty and got tough and grinded one out. We lose a very key member of our team, we had a bunch of different lineups out there that we haven’t played all year. It was a testament to these guys to show some resolve and we pulled it out.”

During a three and a half minute stretch in the closing moments of the fourth quarter neither team scored. Skyforce guard Charles Cooke says being short on size meant that communication was crucial.

‘It was really communicating and playing to win the game. It wasn’t just deciding that we had (to guard) a particular man. Whoever was in your area you guarded him. We communicated that and we helped each other for the most part.”

Cooke led Sioux Falls with 26 points off the bench followed by Duncan Robinson with 23 points and Bubu Palo with 21.

Austin got 23 points and 13 assists from Nick Johnson and 19 off the bench for John Holland.

The Spurs head home for a date with the Memphis Hustle on Saturday while Sioux Falls hits the court on Friday at Salt Lake City.

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