EDINBURG, Texas (Jan. 3, 2019) – The Rio Grande Valley Vipers (13-9) take down Santa Cruz Warriors (16-6) at Bert Ogden Arena, 97-89. Vipers break Warriors four-win streak, three as visitors.
The first quarter of play was evenly matched as both teams exchanged the lead. As the quarter closed out the Warriors benefited from 11 points off the bench to swipe the lead 20-18. Houston Rockets assignee Isaiah Hartenstein grabbed four defensive rebounds in the period to help limit the Warriors attack.
The second quarter told a different story as the Vipers bounced back and reclaimed the lead at half, 54-37. Hartenstein led the team in points scored with 14 and grabbed eight total boards, just two shy of the double-double. For the Warriors offensively, two-way player, Damion Lee tallied 10 points at the break to help keep the road team in the contest.
Kendrick Nunn came off the bench and scored seven points in the half for the Warriors. Tim Bond served up four points off the bench for the Vipers while Gary Payton ll drained 12 for Rio Grande as both teams went into the locker room.
Santa Cruz’s two-way players Lee and Marcus Derrickson both had 15 points as the third period came to an end to help the Warriors tie the game at 68-68 all. The Warriors scored 31 points to even out the score as the final quarter rolled around. Offensively the Vipers scored only 14 points in the quarter.
Two-way player Vincent Edwards racked up 13 points and three rebounds as the third quarter of play came to an end. Bruno Caboclo and Payton ll claimed 12 points apiece as the Vipers kept the Warriors in reach.
All five starters for the Vipers hit the double-digit mark as the Vipers took the home victory, 97-89. Edwards had a season-high 20 points tonight as his team sent the Warriors packing with the loss. Payton ll locked down the double-double performance behind 18 points and 10 assists, a new career-high. Hartenstein performance once again ended the night with a double-double where he racked up 16 points and 14 rebounds; 11 defensively. Newcomer Jordan Johnson had five assists in his debut.
Lee tallied 22 points, five rebounds and two assists for Santa Cruz. Nunn provided 12 points off the bench in their road loss.
The Vipers will return to Bert Ogden Arena on January 7 to host South Bay Lakers. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. For more information, contact the RGV Vipers at 956-56-ARENA or visit www.rgvipers.com.