HIDALGO – The Grand Rapids Drive (15-18) scored 45 points in the third quarter and 81 points in the middle two quarters to chase the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (19-13) on the road with a 129-101 win on Friday night. The Drive were on fire from three-point range, sinking 20-of-39 threes for 51 percent. But most impressively, they dished out 35 assists to eclipse their previous franchise record of 33 set earlier this season.
Reggie Hearn’s 21 points was the high mark for the Drive, who had six players score at least 15 points on the night. Bronson Koenig made six three-pointers off the bench and finished with 20 points, KJ McDaniels had 19 points, Speedy Smith had 10 points and 15 assists, and Landry Nnoko had 15 points and four blocks, leading all players with a plus-minus of +37 in his 30 minutes. In addition to Smith’s 15 assists, Jamel Morris’ eight assists and Koenig’s six were big parts of setting the franchise record.
The Vipers scored over 100 points despite no individual player having more than 16. Troy Williams, Chris Walker and Julien Lewis all finished with that amount. Walker was 6-of-9 from the floor and recorded three blocks but had trouble finding his rhythm at the free throw line, connecting on just four of his 12 attempts. RJ Hunter also scored 15 for Rio Grande Valley and Chinanu Onuaku’s 12 rebounds led all players.
The 20 three-pointers made by the Drive was their second-highest total of the season. Five players made at least three three-pointers for the visitors. The high-flying Viper offense had a bit of trouble finding its footing all night, as they attempted just 88 field goals, shot 25 percent from downtown and under 50 percent on free throws. The Drive were able to seal the win by outscoring Rio Grande Valley by 22 points in the third quarter.