Vipers Win Streak Reaches Five In Return To Valley

Kelvin Lewis TM 22 points and Greg Smith TMs double-double 17 points, 13 rebounds gave the Rio Grande Valley Vipers a 104-97 home win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants Wednesday night.Two shots from behind the arc by Lewis and Damian Saunders helped the Vipers take control of the game. Tory Johnson put the Mad Ants on the board with a layup, but it did not provide enough momentum to catch the Vipers, who led 30-12 at the end of the first quarter.The Vipers were able to hold on to a strong lead throughout the second quarter. A layup from Smith gave the Vipers their largest lead of the game by 23 points, 35-12. A pair of free throws and a three-point shot from Cameron Jones, followed by one free throw shot from Darnell Lazare helped the Mad Ants close their deficit to 16 points, 58-42 at the end of the first half.Lewis and Saunders helped the Vipers maintain the lead throughout the third quarter. However, towards the end of the quarter a pair of free throws by Sadiel Rojas and a three-point shot from Ramon Harris closed Fort Wayne TMs deficit to 11 points, 81-70. The Vipers TM Lee Humphrey responded with a shot from downtown, but the Mad Ants TM Mike Tisdale followed up with two shots at the line to close the third quarter 84-73.The Mad Ants fought back throughout the fourth quarter and were able to close the gap to 4 points, 92-88 with 8:21 on the clock. Smith responded for the Vipers with a pair of two point shots and a free throw to build the Vipers lead to 7 points at the 5:30 mark. Fort Wayne came within 4 points of the Vipers once more at 2:32, but a dunk from Ben Uzoh and free throws from Conroy and Humphrey secured the Vipers TM 104-97 win.The Vipers had five players score in double figures. Lewis tallied 22 points, Smith 17 points, Humphrey registered 14 points and Saunders and Willie Warren both chipped in 13 points.Fort Wayne also saw five players score double figures. Gilbert Brown led the Mad Ant TMs offense with 15 points, followed by Sean Sonderleiter with 14 points, Darington Hobson with 13 points, Jones with 12 points and Tisdale recorded 11 points.Next up, the Vipers hit the road for a pair of road games against the Texas Legends Jan. 28 and 29.