SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Darius Morris had a triple-double and five Rio Grande Valley (19-14) players scored at least 17 points in the Vipers’ 116-112 win over the Sioux Falls Skyforce (22-12) Friday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
Morris scored 19 points on 6-for-14 shooting to go with 13 assists and 10 rebounds while Houston Rockets assignee Chinanu Onuaku added 18 points, 12 rebounds, four steals and two blocks.
The Skyforce led 15-14 early in the first quarter, but Vipers forward JP Tokoto (19 points, nine rebounds) hit a three to put Rio Grande Valley ahead for good.
Sioux Falls trailed by two after the first quarter, and Rio Grande Valley opened the second quarter on a 16-3 run to take its largest lead of the night. The Skyforce slowly chipped away, though, responding with a 10-3 run of their own.
The Skyforce had whittled their deficit to five after the third quarter, but found themselves down 107-95 with 5:59 left in the game. Sioux Falls immediately responded with an 11-2 run to cut it to 109-106 and had several chances to tie the game, but ultimately never got closer than within three.
Guard Patrick Miller continued his strong play for Sioux Falls, pouring in a game-high 26 points on 11-for-17 shooting with a career-high 15 assists, three rebounds and two steals. Forward Stefan Jankovic added a career-high 20 points off the bench for the Skyforce.
Sioux Falls tightened up on defense in the second half, holding the Vipers to just 31 percent (12-for-38) from the floor after the break, while allowing them to shoot 58 percent (25-for-43) in the first half.
The Skyforce host Rio Grande Valley again Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Pentagon.