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Nichols leads Force over Warriors



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Sioux Falls, S.D. (Jan. 15, 2013) – The Sioux Falls Skyforce defeated the Santa Cruz Warriors 99-83 Tuesday night. Sioux Falls shot 57.1 percent from the field (24-of-42) in the first half to take a 52-34 halftime lead and withstood a second-half rally to snap a four-game losing streak.

Sioux Falls (11-10) shot 56.0 percent from the field (14-of-25) in the opening quarter to take a 28-16 lead. The hot shooting continued in the second quarter and Sioux Falls led 52-34 at halftime. Demetris Nichols scored 12 first-half points on a perfect 6-of-6 field goals.

Santa Cruz (11-7) trailed by as many as 25 points (65-40) with just under seven minutes to go in the third quarter but went on a 24-7 run to cut the deficit to 72-64 heading into the final stanza. Justin Johnson made a jump shot to get the visitors within three points (74-71) but Nichols scored 11 points down the stretch to help Sioux Falls pick up their first-ever win against Santa Cruz.

Nichols scored a season-high 26 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Miami HEAT assignee Dexter Pittman posted 15 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks while Mychel Thompson scored 13 points in his first start since being acquired from Erie.

Dan Nwaelele scored a season-high 21 points behind 4-of-6 3-pointers off the bench. Maurice Baker tallied a season-high 20 points while Cameron Jones added 10.

Santa Cruz travels to Des Moines to face Iowa tomorrow night at 5 p.m. PT. Sioux Falls hosts Texas Friday night at 7 p.m. CT.
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