The Maine Red Claws (14-23) hope to take advantage of a shorthanded Rio Grande Valley Vipers (26-11) squad today after playing a close match with the 3rd overall Vipers on Thursday. Despite losing Jeff Adrien to the Golden State Warriors and playing with only 8 players, the Vipers outmanned the Red Claws to take a 106-91 win, sweeping the season series.
The score stayed even throughout the first half with the halftime scoring standing at 50-50 despite the Red Claws just shooting 11 percent from the 3-point line. Jamar Smith scored 4 straight points to lead the Red Claws on a 12-6 run to end the half.
The Vipers came out shooting in the third quarter make 6 of 11 three pointers. Former Red Claw Matt Janning had a big return to the Expo, hitting four straight three’s after missing his first two. Rio Grande Valley outscored the Red Claws 34-19 in the third quarter to open up their lead and would not look back, expanding their lead to as much as 24.
Rio Grande Valley’s Jerel McNeal led all scorers with 26 while Patrick Sullivan finished the night with a double-double, with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Richard Roby added 20 points to the winning effort while Janning finished the night with 18 points.
Deshawn Sims led the Red Claws with 24 points, while Antonio Anderson added 14 and Mario West picked 12. Jamar Smith finished with 11 of his own, while the bench provided equal scoring.
The Maine Red Claws will take the court again Thursday, March 3 against the Dakota Wizards at the Portland Expo The Rio Grande Valley Vipers will head west to California to face the Bakersfield Jam on Friday, March 4.