HIDALGO, Texas -– The Rio Grande Valley Vipers (17-15) topped the Austin Spurs (20-12) 101-96 tonight at State Farm Arena. The Vipers lead the season series versus Austin 4-1.
Will Cummings led the Vipers with 27 points. Jaron Johnson added 20 points. Chris Walker added a double-double 17 points and 15 rebounds. Raphiael Putney scored his 12th double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds, plus 3 blocks. In his RGV Vipers debut, Jordan Hamilton added 8 points and 6 rebounds.
Deshaun Thomas led the Spurs with 19 points. Youssou Ndoye came off the bench with 18 points. Julian Washburn added a double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds. Demetri McCamey recorded 13 points. Cady Lalanne also scored a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Nick Johnson added 11 points.
The Vipers opened the game on an 11-0 run. Thomas made a hook shot to give Austin its first basket of the game. The Spurs fought back to close their deficit. With 2:33 remaining in the first quarter, Washburn made a three-pointer to tie the game at 17 points. At the end of the first period, the score was tied at 22 points.
The score tied five times during the second quarter as both teams battled for control. Walker made a layup to tie the game at 41 points with 2:06 remaining in the half. McCamey responded with layup that sent the Spurs on a 9-2 run to end the half on top 50-43.
Austin’s largest lead of the game was at the 5:17 mark in the third quarter. Nick Johnson made a shot from behind the arc to give the Spurs a 70-55 advantage. Walker answered with a layup that send the Vipers on an 18-3 run to close the third quarter. RGV outscored the Spurs 30-23 in the quarter to tie the game at 73 points.
Thomas opened the fourth quarter with a hook shot to give Austin a 75-73 lead. The Spurs held on to their lead until the final minute of the game. With 0:32 on the clock, Jaron Johnson nailed a three-pointer to give RGV a 95-93 advantage. Cummings followed with two shots at the free throw line to set the score at 97-93. Sykes responded with a three-pointer to put Austin within one point, 97-96. However, Hamilton and Cummings each made two shots at the line to seal the Vipers 101-96 win.