The Texas Legends (9-5) used a late rally in a 40-point fourth quarter to stifle the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (3-12) 129-121 Friday night.
The two teams kept it close in the first with RGV going up 4-0 early. Texas tied it up three times before a three from Nate Mason gave them their first lead 13-10. After missed opportunities on both ends, Kerwin Roach got the answer for RGV at the midway mark to tie it up, opening the gates for a 19-6 run by the Vipers. Texas finished the quarter with a three from Yudai Baba and a pullup from Brandon Fields to cut the double-digit deficit to 28-35. Texas chipped away in the second, cutting the difference to two at the eight-minute mark, but Angel Rodriguez had six of his 11 second-quarter points in the following 90 seconds to put RGV back up double-digits. Texas responded with eight straight and used a three-pointer from Aric Holman to go into the half trailing 60-64.
The Legends’ hot shooting continued in the second half, but the visitors were matching each shot. Back-to-back baskets from Moses Brown put Texas within reach and Antonius Cleveland gave them the go-ahead with five minutes to play in the third. The two teams exchanged leads three more times with the Vipers up 94-89 at the buzzer. Jacobi Boykins lit up the fourth for RGV, knocking down 3-of-6 outside and hitting all three attempts at the free throw line for 12 points in the final minutes, but Texas spread the scoring to nine of the ten active players who knocked down 73%. Doubling the visitors’ fourth-quarter output, Texas took control with just under three minutes to play and never looked back.
The Legends shot a season-high 60% from the field, knocking down 36% outside while RGV finished at 42% outside and 48% overall. Texas won the boards 43-41 and dished out a season-high 42 assists (to RGV’s 28).
Nate Mason led all in scoring (24) and assists (9) while adding 6 rebounds and a team-high 2 steals. Antonius Cleveland grabbed a double-double for Texas with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists. Moses Brown finished 10-of-17 for 21 points off the bench grabbing 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Aric Holman added 13 points, 5 rebounds while Jaylen Hoard and Josh Reaves put in 12 apiece to round out the Legends’ double-digit scoring.
Jacobi Boykins came off the bench to lead RGV hitting 6-of-12 outside for 23 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals while Ray Spalding stuffed the line with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. Angel Rodriguez tallied 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. Kerwin Roach finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists, and Brandon Sampson chipped in 12 points, 3 rebounds.
The Vipers head to Oklahoma City next, taking on the Blue tomorrow at 7pm CT. Texas returns to the court tomorrow night hosting the Memphis Hustle at 7:30pm CT. For tickets or information call 214-469-0822 or visit www.TexLegends.com.