Smush Parker and Joey Dorsey each tallied double-doubles and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers dominated a third quarter for the first time in a long time en-route to a 108-96 win over the Albuquerque Thunderbirds Friday night at Dodge Arena. The Vipers out scored the Thunderbirds 31-18 and handed Albuquerque their second straight defeat and their tenth loss of the season.
The Thunderbirds kept the game close early with a strong second quarter performance. RGV built a five-point lead after the first, but the Thunderbirds answered back with a 29-point second to take as much as a four point lead in the period, and a two point halftime deficit.
Vipers forward Trent Strickland and guard Alpha Bangura scored 11 and 10 points respectively in the third quarter surge. RGV closed out the period on an 8-2 run and took a 14-point lead into the final period where they lead by as many as 27 before closing out the 12 point victory.
Parker scored 19 and dished out 13 assists for his fifth double-double of the season. Dorsey hauled in his first career double-double with a 16 point 12 rebound performance. Kurt Looby was a basket shy of a double-double as he hauled in 10 rebounds, his second career double-digit rebound performance. Will Conroy scored 26 points to lead the T-birds in scoring.
The same two squads will battle again Saturday night at Dodge Arena with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 pm. Saturday will also be Affiliate Night Presented by Adidas. The Vipers will be wearing the home uniforms of the New Orleans Hornets which will be auctioned off after the game. The Vipers fans will also be entertained by Hugo the Hornet and the HoneyBees Dance Team.