Tulsa, OK; March 14, 2008-
Despite falling behind by 18 points on a hot shooting night by the Tulsa 66ers, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers fought their way back to tie the game at the end of regulation, but ultimately fell short of the win. The Vipers fell to the Tulsa 66ers 123-117 in overtime at Expo Square Pavilion Friday night. The Vipers loss now guarantees a below .500 season for the first year franchise. The loss is their second straight overall and on the road.
The Vipers fell behind early, due to the sizzling start by Tulsa. The 66ers shot 80% from the field and from three-point range in the first quarter and led 43-27 after the first period. Tulsa would relinquish their double-digit lead only twice for the next two quarters. Tulsa led 87-75 after three quarters.
A 16-8 run to start the 4th quarter pulled RGV to within four points and prompted an immediate timeout from 66ers Head Coach Joey Meyer. The Vipers did not lead for the entire game until there was 2:53 remaining in regulation when Kris Collins scored to give RGV a 103-102 lead. The Vipers would lead just once more in the rest of the game.
Tulsa led by three points in the final minute of regulation until Desmon Farmer tallied a three-point play that tied the game at 108. Rio Grande Valley had a chance to win it with 2.7 seconds remaining in regulation, but Trent Strickland’s runner in the lane fell short, forcing overtime.
Adam Harrington was lights-out from the outside for Tulsa. The former Auburn Tiger scored a season high 36 points before fouling out. Harrington hit two big threes in overtime on back-to-back possessions to give the 66ers a six-point lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Farmer scored a new Vipers franchise record 44 points in the Viper loss. Farmer was four points away from his career high set last season as a member of the 66ers. Five other Vipers scored in double figures including Ivan Johnson’s 14 points and 12 rebounds in his Viper debut. Kris Collins was two assists away from a double-double after scoring 14 points of his own.
Rio Grande Valley will play three straight games versus the Austin Toros with the first being at Dodge Arena on Sunday night. Tip-off for Sunday’s game is 5:00 pm.