The Rio Grande Valley Vipers surrendered an 11 point fourth quarter lead and missed several opportunities late, as they dropped their second straight game 94-89 to the Tulsa 66ers in overtime Saturday night at the Tulsa Convention Center. Saturday gave the Vipers their first pair of consecutive losses during the 2009-10 season.
The Vipers began the game sluggish offensively for the second straight night shooting just 39% at the end of the first period and trailing Tulsa 20-16. Vipers trailed by only one at halftime after outscoring Tulsa 21-18 in the second stanza.
The Vipers began the third quarter hot and looked like they would pull away. They scored 10 of the first 13 points in the third frame and eventually outscored Tulsa 35-23 in the period to take an 11 point lead into the final frame. In the fourth quarter Tulsa exploded on a 20-2 run and led 81-74 with four minutes remaining in regulation. The Vipers would answer back with a 9-2 run of their own to close out the quarter and had a chance to take the lead before Tulsa final fourth quarter possession, but Viper forward Mike Harris missed the first of his two free throws and could only tie the game at 83. Mustafa Shakur missed a jumper on Tulsa’s final possession of regulation, and Garrett Temple missed a fall-away jumper at the buzzer from 18 feet out to send the game into the extra session.
The Vipers once again struggled to find the bucket in overtime. With RGV down 91-89 the Vipers had three consecutive possessions on which they could have tied or taken the lead. The most dramatic of which involved a designed play out of time out for Ernest Scott who missed a three-point attempt from the top of the key with 15 seconds left on the game clock.
Harris netted a new career high for points with 35 on Saturday night. Harris added 12 rebounds to tally his second double-double of the season. Houston assignee Joey Dorsey added his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and tying his season high with 18 rebounds. Antonio Anderson scored 17 while Garrett Temple added sixteen to round out the double-digit scorers for RGV. Larry Owens led the scoring output for Tulsa with 19, while Mustafa Shakur added 13 points and six assists in the winning effort.
The Vipers return home Monday for the first of three straight games at Dodge Arena when they host the Reno Bighorns. Former Vipers Desmon Farmer and Marcus Hubbard will make their returns to Dodge Arena in visiting uniforms. Tip-off from Hidalgo is schedule for 7:30 pm