– It was a career night for Rio Grande Valley forward Mike Harris. Harris scored a new NBA D-League season high 48 points and tied the RGV franchise record for rebounds in a game with 24, as the Vipers knocked off the Dakota Wizards 126-116 in overtime Sunday afternoon at the Bismarck Civic Center. The point and rebounding totals both shattered Harris’ previous career highs. The win is the Vipers seventh on the road this season.
Sunday’s game was a back and forth affair in which neither team could break away from the other. The game featured eight lead changes and 10 ties and neither team had more than a 10-point lead in the game. The Vipers started strong by outscoring the Wizards 35-28 in the first quarter, with Harris scoring 16 points to lead the Viper charge.
The Wizards would find their offensive spark in the second quarter. Curtis Withers scored five points on a 13-2 run to start the second period to give Dakota a 41-37 lead with 7:38 remaining in the quarter. The Wizards would outscore RGV by 11 points in the second to take a 61-56 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Ernest Scott would lead a third quarter rally for the Vipers. Scott’s three-pointer with 7:32 remaining in the third capped off a 7-0 run to give the Vipers a 68-67 lead, their first of the second half. The teams would trade four additional times in the frame but the Wizards would go into the fourth quarter leading 83-82 thanks to an 8-0 Wizards run to close out the third stanza.
The Vipers regained the lead in the fourth quarter thanks to a 12-3 run capped off by a Harris alley-oop lay-up from Will Conroy to give RGV a 97-90 lead. Dakota would rally back once again. Down 108-100 with 1:32 remaining, Dakota finished the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run capped off by Cheyne Gadsen’s reverse lay-up with four seconds remaining sending the game into overtime. The Vipers outscored Dakota 18-8 in the extra session to finish up the win.
Harris’s point and rebounding totals were both career highs for him. Scott alleviated his shooting woes knocking down six three-pointers Sunday as he finished with 20 points off the bench. Will Conroy dished out a new season high 15 assists while scoring 18 points. Antonio Anderson had a huge fourth quarter and OT as he scored eight of his 12 points after the third quarter. Anderson also finished with eight assists.
Renaldo Major’s 23 points led Dakota. David Bell added 19 points while Withers scored 13 points with eight rebounds. Mo Baker, the long-time Wizards scored 15 points hauling in eight boards and dishing out four assists.
The Vipers and Wizards play each other again on Tuesday night in Bismarck. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM.