HIDALGO, TEXAS – The Rio Grande Valley Vipers outscored the Sioux Falls Skyforce 62-43 in the second and third quarters en route to completing the season sweep with a 108-96 victory tonight at Dodge Arena in front of a crowd of 4,745.
The Vipers (19-6) are now winners of four-straight. This is their third season-sweep and fourth season-series victory over an opponent this season.
Houston Rockets-assignee Jermaine Taylor hit his first field goal attempt, a three-pointer 20 seconds into the second quarter to give the Vipers a 29-24 lead. Craig Winder followed that with back-to-back threes as the Vipers built at 11-point lead to force a Skyforce (12-14) timeout at the 10:28 mark. The Skyforce did not attempt a shot during the 9-0 run, but they did commit two turnovers.
The Vipers extended that run to a 21-4 run until the 6:08 mark, when Julian Sensley hit a jumper to make it 49-30. Chris McCray scored six points during a 12-0 Skyforce run to make the game close, but Mike Harris ended that with a lay-up with four-tenths of one second left before halftime. That started a 12-0 run until Alexander Johnson hit a pair of free throws to bring the Skyforce within 62-46 at the 7:33 mark of the third quarter.
Taylor hit a three-pointer to cap an 8-0 run that made it 78-58 with 2:56 left in the quarter. Ernest Scott hit a three-pointer with eight seconds left in the quarter to give the Vipers an 88-65 lead.
The Skyforce went on a 15-3 run over a 3:21 span starting at the end of the third quarter to get within 91-80. The Skyforce later got within 101-91, but Winder hit a fall-away jumper with 1:30 left to put the game out of reach.
Taylor finished with 14 points in his Vipers debut. Harris recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 25 points and 18 rebounds to go with three assists and three steals. Winder scored 17 points with a season-high five assists and a career high-tying three blocked shots. Garrett Temple also chipped in with 18 points.
The Skyforce were led by Reggie Williams, who scored 29 points to go with eight rebounds. Alexander Johnson recorded a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds. McCray finished with 14 points.
The win marks number 399 in the career of Vipers head coach Chris Finch. He’ll make his first bid for number 400 when the Vipers welcome the Los Angeles D-Fenders to Dodge Arena on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Doors open at 4:00.