Vipers Snap 66ers Four-Game Winning Streak

HIDALGO, Texas, March 13, 2010 – Despite a double-double from Mustafa Shakur of 25 points and 13 assists, the Tulsa 66ers fell to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 126-103 Saturday night at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas, snapping a four-game winning streak for Tulsa. Moses Ehambe tied a career-high with 26 points for the 66ers, while Oklahoma City Thunder assignee Byron Mullens contributed nine points and five rebounds.

The Vipers jumped up early after a Mike Harris dunk sparked an 8-2 run, giving them a 24-16 lead with 4:03 remaining in the first quarter. Shakur scored seven points in the first period, as the 66ers shot 10-for-19 from the field, but Harris paced the surge for the Vipers with 13 points, as they shot 65 percent (13-20). Rio Grande Valley took a 32-24 lead into the break.

Ehambe sparked a 66ers comeback to start the second quarter, scoring a conventional three-point play during an 11-5 run that brought Tulsa to within 37-35 with 8:42 left in the half. But the Vipers stormed back with an 11-3 run of their own, as a Will Conroy lay up gave them a 48-38 advantage with 5:56 remaining in the period. Harris scored 15, as the Vipers hot shooting continued, going 13-for-21 (61.9 percent) from the field in the second quarter. Ehambe scored 11 in the period, as the 66ers made 9-of-22 attempts, and trailed 69-53 at halftime.

The Vipers outscored the 66ers 18-8 coming out of halftime, building an 85-61 lead with 5:13 remaining in the third quarter after two Harris free throws. Shakur scored eight third quarter points to try to bring Tulsa within striking distance, as they shot 45.5 percent (10-22) from the field in the quarter. But Harris and Stanley Asumnu each scored eight, as the Vipers shot 12-of-19 from the field, and took a 97-77 lead into the final quarter.

Both teams traded baskets during the fourth quarter, including a stretch where each team made consecutive three-point attempts. The Vipers shot 10-for-18 in the final quarter, as they outscored the 66ers 29-26, who shot 8-of-17 from the field in the period.

The Vipers, who never trailed in the game, out rebounded the 66ers 43-32 and outscored Tulsa 60-34 in the paint.

Led by Ehambe and Shakur, the 66ers (23-17) finished with five players scoring in double-figures. Deron Washington finished with 15 points and five rebounds, while Larry Owens added 14 points. Latavious Williams came off the bench to score 10 points and grab nine boards.

The Vipers (29-12) were led by Harris’ double-double of 44 points and 12 rebounds. Conroy finished with a triple-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, while Asumnu added 21 points. Jonathan Wallace and Ernest Scott both came off the bench to combine for 25 points, and Julian Sensley added 10 points.

Both teams take the court again tomorrow at 5 p.m. in the second game of the back-to-back series, and final match up of the regular season.

Updated 03-14-2010

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