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Conroy First to 3,000 Points as Vipers Beat Red Claws
HIDALGO, TEXAS – Will Conroy reclaimed the all-time NBA Development League lead in points, by scoring 21 to up his career-total to 3,005 points as the Rio Grande Valley Vipers beat the Maine Red Claws 117-107 tonight at State Farm Arena in front of a crowd of 4,088.
The Vipers (24-9) opened the game on an 8-0 run thanks in-part to three-pointers by Houston Rockets-assignee Jermaine Taylor and Jonathan Wallace. The Red Claws (20-14) didn't score until 3:26 into the game when Maurice Ager hit a pair of free throws. Taylor hit another three-pointer to give the Vipers a 15-6 lead at the 6:24 mark and Ernest Scott hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Vipers a 23-9 lead 2:01 later. Kenny Hasbrouck hit a three-pointer on first-career offensive possession to cap a 15-0 run and give the Vipers a 30-9 lead with 2:54 remaining in the first quarter. The Red Claws closed the quarter on a 13-2 run to pull within 32-22.
Ager hit a jumper, Trey Gilder converted a traditional three-point play and T.J. Cummings hit a free throw to extend the run to 19-2 over the first 1:22 of the second quarter to pull within 32-28. Morris Almond hit a lay-up with 4:38 remaining in the second quarter to give the Red Claws their first lead of the game at 42-41. Russell Robinson hit a lay-up 35 seconds later to cap the 16-3 run with the Red Claws leading 44-41. The Vipers and Red Claws traded baskets after that, with Hasbrouck hitting a floater with 7.1 seconds left to give the Vipers a 52-51 halftime lead.
Up 69-66 mid-way through the third quarter, the Vipers went on a 17-0 run, capped by a Hasbrouck jumper at the 2:58 mark. The Vipers took a 90-75 lead at the end of the third quarter, thanks in-part to Craig Winder, who scored 12 of his season-high 25 points in the frame while hitting all five of his field goal attempts.
"I've always enjoyed guys coming off the bench in our system. [Winder] comes in and he's instant energy. You're almost hitting [the Red Claws] with [Winder] before they catch their second wind," Vipers head coach Chris Finch said.
The Red Claws closed the gap again by going on a 15-0 run after falling behind 90-70 with 1:35 left in the third quarter. Terrell Harris hit a three-pointer to bring the Red Claws within 98-94 with 5:57 remaining. The Vipers responded with a 6-0 run to go up 104-94 and put the game away.
Conroy recorded a double with 14 assists while adding six rebound and three steals. Taylor finished with 22 points.
Ager led the Red Claws in scoring with 21 points while Robinson added 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.
The Vipers return to action on Friday at 7:30 p.m. when they host the Springfield Armor at State Farm Arena. The first 1,000 fans will receive red t-shirts, courtesy of RGV Smiles. Doors open at 6:30.