Vipers Hot Streak Continues with Win over Arsenal
Anaheim, Calif., November 28, 2007 - Wednesday marked the first trip for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers franchise to California and they didn't waste any time making themselves at home. The Rio Grande Valley Vipers outlasted the Anaheim Arsenal 99-91 and marked the third win in a row for the Vipers and the third loss in as many games for the Arsenal.
Vipers guard C.J. Watson poured in 26 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists but was also aided by fellow Vipers guard Gabe Muoneke who scored 24 points and 7 rebounds in the victory. A couple of clutch free throws in the final minute by Watson and a steal and lay-up by guard Kenny Taylor sealed the victory for the Vipers in their first road game of the season.
The Arsenal first half was highlighted by a Guillermo Diaz dunk with four minutes left in the second quarter that raised the fans to their feet and propelled the Arsenal from a 10-point deficit to an Arsenal lead of two, 50-48, going into the locker room at halftime. The Arsenal found themselves quickly behind after halftime 85-72 due in large part to Vipers guard Gabe Muoneke's 13 point effort in the third quarter. The Arsenal effort was headed by forward Steven Smith who scored a game-high 28 points and ripped down 7 rebounds to go along with 2 steals. Anaheim guard Guillermo Diaz contributed with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in the loss.
After the game, Arsenal Assistant Coach Dean Murray said, "It was a tough loss. We need to win the game on Friday against the Bakersfield Jam. Our guys are good enough to win but we still need to get some things together."
"We played hard. It's tough to be 0-3 but it's still early. There are a lot of games left to play this season. There are guys with the experience to make this a great team. Sometimes it's hard right out of the gate and we just haven't had that spark yet," Arsenal forward and game-high scorer Steven Smith said after the game.
The Arsenal square off against the Bakersfield Jam on Friday night at the Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center at 7:30PM. For ticket information please call (714)635-BALL and visit anaheimarsenal.com for all Arsenal news and updates.
An all-time high 44 NBA Development League alumni highlighted 2007-08 NBA opening day rosters. That number accounts for 10 percent of all players in the NBA and surpasses the previous high of 35 featured on 2006-07 NBA start-of-season rosters. During the 2006-07 season every player promoted to the NBA came directly from the NBA Development League. No other league sent any players to the NBA during the season. Every referee hired by the NBA since 2002 has worked in the D-League. Presently over 25% of the NBA's referees refined their skills in the D-League.
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