The Rio Grande Valley Vipers (4-1) topped the Los Angeles D-Fenders (5-2) 123-108 in overtime tonight at State Farm Arena. The Vipers held the D-Fenders scoreless, 15-0, in extra minutes. Tonight’s game was the first of a back-to-back series versus the Los Angeles.
Jaron Johnson led the Vipers with 30 points and shot 8-for-12 from three-point range. Raphiael Putney added a double-double 22 points and 10 rebounds, and also tallied 6 blocks. Chris Walker also scored a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Karl Cochran recorded 17 points and shot 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. Jarvis Threatt and Joshua Smith scored 13 points apiece.
Vander Blue led the D-Fenders with 20 points, followed by Manny Harris with 17 points. Justin Harper added 15 points. Josh Magette scored a double-double 11 points and 13 assists. Zach Andrews also added 11 points. Malcom Thomas recorded 15 rebounds.
RGV held the advantage over the first half. Jaron Johnson scored 14 of his 30 total points to give RGV a 25-22 advantage after the first quarter. Johnson also scored 6 of his 8 three-point shots in the first half. At halftime, RGV was on top 60-50.
However, the D-Fenders fought back in the second half. Los Angeles outscored RGV 29-26 in the third quarter behind Blue’s 15 of 20 total points. Los Angeles took the fourth quarter 29-22 to send the game to extra minutes tied at 108 points.
Cochran opened overtime with consecutive three-point shot to propel the Vipers to a 15-0 period, and a 123-108 win.
The Vipers are back at home Saturday night to host the D-Fenders in the second game of this back-to-back series. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CST). Game sponsor Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance is giving the first 1,000 fans a rally towel and the first 500 fans a set of bam-bams. At 5 p.m. Pepper’s and Uptown and L&F Distributors will kick off a tailgate party in the east parking lot of State Farm Arena. Throughout the month of November, fans can bring four non-perishable food items to the State Farm Arena box office pregame in exchange for one free ticket. Donations will benefit the Salvation Army.