66ERS FALL SHORT AT HOME TO VIPERS, 100-94

TULSA, Okla., March 26, 2011— Center Byron Mullens of the Tulsa 66ers (31-17) recorded 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots and guard Jerome Dyson posted 17 points and a game-high eight assists but the 66ers fell to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (31-16) by a 100-94 final tally Saturday night inside the Tulsa Convention Center.

The 66ers fell behind by as many as 14 points before battling back to within two, 82-80, with just over eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

“I was proud of our guys for continuing to battle back despite getting down a few times tonight,” 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts said. “We need to continue to stay together and focus on improving every day. Rio Grande Valley has some great shooters and they proved that tonight. We will learn from this weekend and come back to practice ready to end the season on a positive note.”

Also scoring in double-figures for Tulsa was Larry Owens and Elijah Millsap with 14 each and Ryan Reid with 12. Reid and Owens also collected six boards.

The 66ers defense forced 26 Viper turnovers, including 11 steals, but saw the Rio Grande Valley offense connect on 11-27 (.407) shots from beyond the arc. Leading Tulsa in steals on the night was Dyson with four and Millsap and Owens each with three.

The Vipers, who regained first place in the Western Conference standings with tonight’s victory, were led by Jerel McNeal with a game-high 22 points. Center Hasheem Thabeet posted the game’s only double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

The 66ers return to the court for their final two games of the regular season next Friday and Saturday, April 1-2, when they host the Dakota Wizards. Both games are scheduled to tip at 7 p.m. CT inside the Tulsa Convention Center.

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