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Big Second Half Powers Vipers to Third-Straight Road Victory

Rio Grande Valley Vipers 115, Utah Flash 110

OREM, Utah, April 1, 2009- Jawad Williams dropped in a game-high 35 points, and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers notched 68 second half points en route to a 115-100 NBA Development League victory over the host Utah Flash Wednesday night at the Mckay Events Center.

Williams, who entered the night averaging 25.5 points per game, dropped in 24 of his game-high points in the Vipers second-half scoring barrage.

“He’s (Williams) certainly our go to guy on the offensive side of the floor.” Vipers coach Clay Moser said. “He was player of the month last month and has been very good for us since we got him because he can do so many things on the floor.”

Utah had its five-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 27-16. The Flash is host to the Albuquerque Thunderbirds Friday at 7 p.m. Rio Grande Valley improved to 20-25 and travels to Reno Thursday.

Utah took a two-point lead into the second quarter before a Morris Almond jump shot completed a 10-3 run to give the Flash a nine point lead with 2:20 left in the half. Back-to-back buckets from Kevin Kruger extended the Flash lead to 59-47 at the half.

A Jared Jordan jump shot with 4:05 left in the third quarter put the Vipers on top 72-71 before a Williams’ bucket extended the Vipers lead to eight points. Rio Grande Valley exploded for a 37-point third quarter off of 17-of-26 (65-percent) shooting in the period.

“The game was lost in the third quarter.” Flash coach Brad Jones said. “We talked about coming out in the second half with energy, but we were unable to keep it up.”

A Jordan lay-up with 3:32 left in the game extended the Vipers lead to nine points. The Flash pulled to within three points twice in the final 1:12 of the game, but were unable to draw any closer.

Rio Grande Valley turned 20 Flash turnovers, 13 in the second half, into 21 points on the night.

Jordan recorded a double-double with 17 points and 13 assists. Stanley Asumnu added 16 points, while Trent Strickland notched 15 points in the win. Julian Sensley added 15 points for the Vipers, who notched 64 total points in the paint.

Utah Jazz assignee Morris Almond knocked down 24 points, while fellow Jazz assignee Kosta Koufos had his second straight double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Ronald Dupree scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out six assists for the Flash, while Boston Celtics assignee J.R. Giddens chipped in 22 points. Kruger added 19 points for the Flash, who shot 57-percent (41-of-72) from the floor.