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Skyforce Fall To Vipers By Nine

March 15, 2011, 9:38 PM

Skyforce Fall To Vipers By Nine
HIDALGO, TX - The defending NBA Development League champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers are now tied with the Tulsa 66ers at the top of the Western Conference standings after a 106-97 victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Tuesday at State Farm Arena in front of a sellout crowd of 5,653.

The Skyforce (10-32) opened the game on a 6-0 run powered by a basket, a, steal and an assist by Patrick Ewing Jr. Richard Roby broke that run for the Vipers (29-13) by hitting back-to-back baskets. Mouhammad Faye followed with a pair of free throws and Roby banked in a lay-up to give the Vipers an 8-6 lead. The Vipers extended the run into a 21-6 run, taking a 32-18 lead at the end of the first quarter. Roby hit all six of his shot attempts for 12 of his team-high 27 points.

Roby hit 12-of-20 shots while also recording eight rebounds, two assists and three steals.

The Skyforce got as close as 47-38 after a pair of free throws from Stephen McDowell at the 4:45 mark, but Jon Scheyer responded with a three-pointer and the Vipers maintained their lead, going up by as many as 19 points in the third quarter, until late in the fourth quarter. After Scheyer hit a floater to give the Vipers a 100-87 lead with 4:44 remaining, Ewing hit a pair of free throws, McDowell hit a jumper and then Ewing hit another pair of free throws to bring the Skyforce within 100-93 with 3:01 remaining. Roby responded with a driving lay-up, but Sean Marshall hit a basket and Ewing hit two more free throws to make it 102-97 with 1:06 remaining. Roby missed a shot but grabbed the rebound and put the ball back in with 40.6 seconds remaining to put the game out of reach.

Ewing finished 14-for-14 from the foul line while scoring a game-high 35 points to go with five rebounds.

Scheyer scored a career-high 24 points on a career-best 8-of-13 shooting, including 4-for-6 from behind the arc, to go with a career-high eight assists and a career-high two blocked shots. Faye recorded his second-straight double-double and fifth of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Connor Atchley scored 15 points with six rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots.

Courtesy: Jonah Goldberg, Vipers

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