Vipers defeat Squadron in thriller
EDINBURG, Texas — After a close matchup, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (7-0) defeat Birmingham Squadron (2-3) in a 112-105 win on Friday night. Houston Rockets assignee Josh Christopher posted a season-high and career-high of 29 points, adding six rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
The Vipers trailed in the first quarter 21-22 but came back in the second frame to finish the first half 53-50. Two starters from the Vipers scored in double digits led by Christopher with 12 points and Mfiondu Kabengele with 11 points and six rebounds. Two of Birmingham’s starters also totaled in double figures; Malcolm Hill (15 pts) and Zylan Cheatham with a double-double (13 pts, 10 reb).
Birmingham came out of the locker room hot, outscoring the Vipers to earn an 80-78 lead. Both Hill and Cheatham scored 20+ points each while Christopher recorded 20 points for RGV.
RGV came back in the fourth to defeat the Squadron. Kabengele paved the way all night for the Vipers with a double-double with 26 points, 16 rebounds while tallying three steals and two blocks.
From off the bench, Tyler Bey recorded 15 points, six rebounds while Anthony Lamb totaled 11 points, eight rebounds. Rockets two-way player Daishen Nix also scored 10 points, four rebounds, four assists from off the bench for RGV.
The Squadron’s team was led by Hill with a game-high of 32 points, nine rebounds and five steals. Cheatham finished the night with 28 points, 18 rebounds. Jared Harper posted 17 points, seven assists and Ra’Shad James came off the bench with 12 points.
RGV shot 18.8% from beyond the arc (6-32), being a season-low for the home team. The Vipers shot 44.4% from the field while Birmingham shot 42.9%.
The Vipers continue their home stand at Bert Ogden Arena on Sunday, November 28 as they face Birmingham Squadron again at 7 ET