HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. — The Windy City Bulls fell to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 122-112 on Friday night at Sears Centre Arena, as the Vipers extended their winning streak to 13 games on the strength of Briante Weber’s triple-double.
Three Bulls players scored in double figures led by Antonio Blakeney who poured in a game-high 31 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Kay Felder scored 26 points, Ryan Arcidiacono tallied 10 points, six rebounds and seven assists and Daniel Ochefu pitched in with eight points.
Windy City came out of the gates firing and led 13-0 in the opening four minutes to take what would be its largest lead of the night. Rio Grande Valley responded with a 14-6 run to trim the lead five, but the Bulls extended the lead back to double figures. Eight players scored in the quarter leading to a Windy City 35-25 lead at the end of the opening 12 minutes.
Rio Grande Valley was without the services of Demetrius Jackson and Danuel House but had six players score in double figures. Monte Morris paced the Vipers scoring 29 points while Briante Weber recorded his first career triple-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. Tyler, Lydon (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Chinanu Onuaku (14 points, 12 rebounds) each tallied double-doubles and Tony Wroten and Chris Walker had 12 points apiece.
The Vipers made a run to start the second quarter and cut the lead to single digits. Windy City led for the first 19 minutes of the contest, but with 4:32 left to play in the half, Tyler Lydon hit a three-point shot to give Rio Grande Valley their first lead of the night. The Vipers shot 52 percent in the quarter, but the Bulls led 66-63 at halftime.
Two minutes into the third quarter, Lydon hit his fourth three-point shot of the night to give the Vipers a 70-68 lead as part of a 13-6 run. The shot was the turning point of the game, as Rio Grande Valley led the rest of the way. The Vipers outscored Windy City 32-18 in the quarter and raced out to 19-point lead, their largest of the night. Blakeney scored 14 of the team’s 18 points and ended the quarter on a personal 7-2 run to cut the lead to 11 and the Bulls trailed 95-84 heading into the fourth quarter.
Windy City made a push to begin the fourth quarter and trailed by four with 6:43 remaining in the game. Karrington Ward made a pair of free throws to make it one possession game, but that is as close as the Bulls would get. Aided by a 15-2 run, Rio Grande Valley would extend the lead to 15 and went on to win their 13th consecutive game.