Skyforce Comeback Falls Short in Loss to Vipers
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce 102-98 Saturday night. Sioux Falls had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds after trailing by 17 points with under four minutes to go in the third quarter but Demetris Nichols’ 3-pointer rimmed out and Houston Rockets assignee Terrence Jones converted 1-of-2 free throws to ice the game.
Rio Grande Valley (10-8) made three 3-pointers in the first two minutes to jump out to a quick 9-0 lead. They pushed the lead to 18 points (24-6) midway through the opening quarter and it appeared that they would cruise to victory. Sioux Falls (10-10) chipped away at the lead in the second quarter and tied the game at 50 apiece on a Chris Davis jumper with a minute left in the first half.
Rio Grande Valley pushed the lead back to 17 points in the third quarter and led 80-73 heading into the fourth. They led 88-78 with 8:54 to go in the contest but Sioux Falls went on a 12-4 run to get within two points (92-90). Nichols got a good look to tie the game with 3.9 seconds left but it would not drop as Sioux Falls lost its fourth straight game.
Jones finished with a team-high 23 points to go along with eight rebounds. Chris Johnson posted 17 and seven rebounds while Houston Rockets assignee Patrick Beverly and Andrew Goudelock each scored 16.
Mychel Thompson had a solid all-around game with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Damian Saunders and Gabe Pruitt contributed 19 and 18 points off the bench, respectively.