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South Bay Lakers Fly Past Skyforce

By South Bay Lakers Staff /March 9, 2023

South Bay Lakers 127, Sioux Falls Skyforce 125 3/8/23

The South Bay Lakers played their twelfth home game against the Sioux Falls Skyforce as they won, 127-125, on Wednesday night. Cole Swider led the Lakers (18-8) in scoring with 31 points. Justin Champagnie paced the Skyforce (14-12), scoring 40 points.

The first quarter was tight, as these teams picked up right where the left off on Monday night. Cole Swider led the Lakers with eight first quarter points. For the Skyforce, it was truly a team effort, with five players scoring four points in the opening frame. South Bay led 28-20 after one. The Lakers started the second quarter with urgency, led by five quick Scotty Pippen Jr. points. The Lakers were able to stretch their lead to as many as 15 in the quarter, and went into the break, up five. Justin Champagnie led the Skyforce with 16 points and 8 rebounds at half.

Five straight points from Swider out of the break restored a ten-point lead for South Bay in the early part of the third. The Skyforce quickly responded with a 7-0 run of their own. The rest of the quarter was a track meet, with both teams exchanging buckets. South Bay just took a two-point lead into the fourth, 89-87. Champagnie continued his monster night, totaling 25 points and 14 points through three. Swider led the Lakers with 24 points.

South Bay strung together a nice 11-3 run, spurred by defensive stops, and emphasized by some big baskets by Swider. The Lakers found themselves up 104-97 with seven minutes remaining. The Skyforce battled all the way back to take a two-point lead with seven seconds remaining. However, Max Christie was able to convert a driving layup to send the game to overtime. In the extra period, the game was tied 125-125, with both teams just needing one more basket to hit the target score of 126 and win the game. Shaq Harrison drove into the lane and converted an acrobatic layup with his off hand to give South Bay the victory 127-125.

Harrison put together a final line of 18 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists, just shy of his second triple double in as many games. Swider added 31 points, while Pippen Jr. and Christie contributed 21 and 17 points respectively. For the Skyforce, Justin Champagnie put up an incredible 40 point and 17 rebound performance. Nikola Jovic contributed 26 points and 10 rebounds.

South Bay will face off against the Stockton Kings on Saturday, March 11, at 5:00pm from the UCLA Health Training Center.