Stinson Leads Energy Over Vipers in OT Thriller
DES MOINES Iowa-
Iowa guard Curtis Stinson tallied the D-League's second triple-double of the season and forward Patrick Sanders hit some big jumpers down the stretch and scored a team high 23 points as they lead the Energy to the 111-107 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The Vipers drop to 5-6 on the season and are 1-2 on their current road swing. The win improves the Energy's record to 5-1 and 2-0 at home.
The Vipers fought hard to tie the game at the end of regulation despite having a less than perfect journey to Des Moines on Friday. The Vipers flight was cancelled Thursday night due to inclement weather forcing the team to bus from Tulsa to Kansas City, Mo in the early morning hours before completing the trip to Des Moines Friday afternoon arriving less than three hours before tip-off.
Rio Grande Valley held a lead after each of the first three quarters and built a lead of as many as 10 points in the road contest. The Vipers had an opportunity to win at the end of regulation as RGV forward Alton Ford was fouled with six seconds remaining and the Vipers trailing 100-99. Ford hit just one of two from the foul line to tie the game at 100 at the end of regulation. Ford tied the game again with: 36 remaining in over time after getting fouled on a converted jump-hook in the lane. Ford's free throw tied the game at 107. Sanders then converted a three-point play of his own with :20 remaining to give the Energy the lead for good.
Stinson's triple-double was the second for an Iowa player this season. He tallied 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Energy center Courtney Sims netted his fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Othyus Jeffers also earned a double-double for the Energy as he scored 16 and hauled in 12 rebounds off the bench.
Forward Kendall Dartez paced the Viper offense with a season high 24 points while hauling in eight rebounds. Smush Parker was four rebounds shy of a triple double, scoring 11 points and dishing out 12 assists in the loss for RGV. Trent Strickland scored 20, and Alpha Bangura added 15 points off the bench for the Vipers.
Rio Grande Valley will complete their four game road swing on Sunday afternoon in Austin as they face the Southwest Division rival Austin Toros for the first time in 08-09. Tip-off for Sunday's game is set for 3:00 pm.
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