Best in the West: Vipers Lock in First Round Bye with Win over Skyforce
EDINBURG, Texas - The Rio Grande Valley Vipers (34-16) faced the Sioux Falls Skyforce (24-26) on Saturday night and came out victorious, 105-99, as Michael Frazier dropped 25 points in front of largest crowd of the season.
The Vipers and Skyforce entered battle in the final regular season game of the 2018-19 season. The energy was high on the court as both teams got off to a good start offensively.
Sioux Falls crept away in the first half and claimed a slim 37-34 lead behind Emanuel Terry's 14 points. For Rio Grande, Frazier was off to a hot start as he scored 10 points in the quarter. The Vipers connected on 6 of 13 three pointers in the first.
The roles were reversed in the second quarter as the Vipers outscored the Skyforce, 20-15, and claimed the halftime lead by a slim 54-52 margin. For the home Vipers, Frazier tallied 19 points, five rebounds before heading to the break. The other notable offensive contribution for RGV was two-way player Vincent Edwards as he scored 10 points, three rebounds to help push his team.
Sioux Falls benefitted from their forward, Terry, as he totaled 14 points, three rebounds, two assists. Rodney Purvis was able to tally 10 points for the Skyforce before heading to the break. Bubu Palo scored 11 points to help pad the deficit.
What seemed to be a never-ending battle between both teams in the second half went in favor of the home team as they celebrated a victory at the buzzer. The Vipers pulled away and locked in the 105-99 win to earn their 34th win of the season.
Diamond Stone totaled 12 points, four rebounds to close out his line. Frazier was the man on offense as he tallied 25 points, seven rebounds, three assists to lead his team past a strong Sioux Falls attack.
Houston Rockets assignee, Gary Clark, had a good night as well as he totaled 13 points, 11 rebounds to lock in a double-double. Gary Payton ll was dishing out assists all night as he totaled eight to lead the team in that category, adding on 13 points of his own. Chris Walker just missed the double-double as he totaled 12 points, nine rebounds.
For the Skyforce, Palo was able to claim the scoring title as he tallied 21 points, five rebounds and 11 assists on his way to a double-double. Terry ended his night with 20 points, 10 rebounds to earn a double-double as well while Purvis had 19 points. Miami Heat two-way player, Yante Maten was good on offense for Sioux Falls as he helped put 10 points on the board and grabbed 14 rebounds to earn himself a double-double on the night.
The Vipers have clinched a first-round bye in the playoffs and await their opponent. Time and date for the matchup is to be determined. For more information, contact the RGV Vipers at 956-56-ARENA or visit www.rgvipers.com.
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