New Additions Lead Vipers To Victory In Final Game Before Break

Lee Humphrey led the Rio Grande Valley Vipers with 22 points in a 130-120 win over the Maine Red Claws Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the State Farm Arena. Morris Almond led the Red Claws with 28 points.

Maine started the game with a layup by Anthony Kent and a jump shot from Almond. The Vipers took the 5-4 lead following two shots at the line by Scott VanderMeer and a shot from behind the arc by Ben Uzoh. VanderMeer put up another layup, but Almond and Kenny Hayes were able to connect for the Red Claws, who held the 19-7 lead at the 7:13 mark. A 3-point shot from Humphrey put the Vipers back within five points, 25-20. However, a dunk from Almond put Maine back in the lead 33-24 with 2:18 on the clock. Two trips to line and a layup from Uzoh, followed by a hook shot from Tyren Johnson closed the Vipers deficit to 35-31 at the end of the first quarter.

Marshall Brown helped the Vipers get within 2 points, 35-33 at the start of the second quarter. Xavier Silas responded for Maine with a 27 TM 3-point jump shot, but VanderMeer answered for the Vipers with a layup to keep the momentum going. The Red Claws held the 52-44 lead with 7:28 remaining in the half. The Vipers fought back with a shot from behind the arc by VanderMeer that closed the gap 58-54. Johnson followed up with a layup and VanderMeer tipped in another basket to tie the game at 58 points with 4:20 on the clock. Both teams fought to hold the lead through the rest of the quarter. The Vipers entered the half up 69-68 following two free throws by Uzoh.

Hayes knocked down a jump shot to open the third quarter and put Maine up 70-69, but Johnson answered for the Vipers with a 3-pointer to take the 72-70 lead. From that point, the Vipers never relinquished their lead. A 24 TM 3-point jump shot from Kelvin Lewis set the Vipers up 91-78 halfway through the third. Maine fought back, getting within six points, 93-87 on a shot from Almond. Jermaine Taylor responded with a shot from downtown to keep the Vipers moving forward. Will Conroy sunk a 3-point shot at the buzzer to give the Vipers their largest lead of 105-90 at the end of the third quarter.

The Vipers maintained their lead throughout the rest of the game. However, the Red Claws did not go down without a fight. With 4:05 on the clock, Lawrence Hill put up a layup to get within two points of the Vipers 116-114. Humphrey responded with a 3-pointer to halt Maine 119-114. The Vipers claimed the game 130-120.

The Vipers saw five players reach double scoring figures. Humphrey led the way with 22 points, followed by Johnson and Uzoh, who each contributed 21 points. Taylor and VanderMeer also recorded 16 points.