Sioux Falls S.D. (Mar. 6, 2014) – The Rio Grande Valley Vipers defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce 119-116 in double overtime Thursday night at the Sanford Pentagon. The game was the second double-overtime game in as many contests at home for the Skyforce.
Rio Grande Valley (26-11) took the lead with 1:03 left in double overtime when the Vipers used an unconventional four-point possession to take the lead. Akeem Ellis hit a three-pointer, and an away-from-the-ball foul on the rebound gave Robert Covington a free throw and the Vipers a lead they would never give back.
Sioux Falls (22-16) held the lead for much of the first three quarters through their defensive efforts that forced 18 Rio Grande Valley turnovers and six blocked shots. Anthony Mason Jr. led the defensive charge for the Skyforce with five steals and four blocked shots.
The Skyforce had the hot hand from deep as three players shot better than 50 percent from behind the arc. Tre Kelley converted a game-high five 3-pointers and A.J. Davis and Larry Drew II both hit three.
Rio Grande Valley was led by Ellis with 21 points, and Covington and Tony Bishop both finished with double-doubles. Covington scored 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds while Bishop scored 16 with 10 boards.
Drew finished with 22 points for Sioux Falls, followed by Mason with 21, Kelley with 19, and Henry Walker and Alex Oriakhi both ended the night with 18. Walker pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds and Drew ended the night with seven assists.
The same two teams will tangle tomorrow night at the Sanford Pentagon at 7 p.m. CT.