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Vipers Overcome Wizards’ Spell at D-League Showcase

Rio Grande Valley 119, Dakota 112

Boise, Idaho, Jan. 17 -- The Rio Grande Valley Vipers outlasted the Dakota Wizards, 119-112, at the 2008 D-League Showcase on Wednesday at the Qwest Arena.

The win was the first for year for the Vipers, who also snapped a six-game winning streak in the process.

Cleveland Cavaliers' assignee Shannon Brown led all scorers with 37 points and Trent Strickland added 27. The Vipers also got a major boost from the bench, which contributed 42 points.

The tightly contested game featured 24 lead changes and 12 ties. Neither team led by more than five points until the fourth quarter. The Vipers led by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter and outscored the Wizards, 36-30, in the final period to notch their first victory away from Dodge Arena since Dec. 29.

“It was so fun to watch those guys out there tonight,” Vipers head coach Bob Hoffman said. “They fought hard from the beginning and to get big minutes from everyone was huge.”

Brown converted on 13-of-24 shooting, including four three pointers, and five rebounds. The Vipers received huge minutes from their bench as three of their non-starters finished in double figures including Chris Taft’s 14, which led the Vipers' reserves.

The Wizards were led by Maurice Baker who scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Kevin Lyde contributed 19 and 10.

Rio Grande Valley will play their second of two home games in January on Friday night as they face off against the Anaheim Arsenal. The Vipers defeated the Arsenal on November 28. Tip-off at Dodge Arena is set for 7:00 pm.