Image: Rio Grande Valley Vipers center Isaiah Hartenstein fights his way to the basket past the defense of Agua Caliente's Marshall Plumlee during a Dec. 14 game at State Farm Arena. Photo by Bryan Ramos

Rio Grande Valley hopes to stop skid

By Bryan Ramos


he new year hasn’t exactly been friendly to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Losers of eight out of their last 10, now the Vipers are back home and looking to right the ship as they ready for a three-game home stand.

With a 5-9 record in 2018, the Vipers (20-17) have dropped to third place in the Southwest Division, falling three games behind the first place Austin Toros.

RGV started the year off on the right foot by winning three of four games including a whopping 157-134 win over the Memphis Hustle on Jan. 6. Now, the Vipers are back at State Farm Arena where they’ll be looking to bounce back and get on the winning track once again.

Two-way player Monte Morris, who has been a bright spot for the Vipers this season, was called up by the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Morris could spend time bolstering the Nuggets roster or be sent back to the Vipers. The point guard is averaging 20.4 points and 8.6 assists over his last five games.

If there’s no Morris, forward R.J. Hunter, the Vipers’ leading scorer, will be leaned upon to carry the offensive load for RGV. Hunter is averaging 23.4 points per game in his last five.

Image: Rio Grande Valley Vipers’ forward R.J. Hunter drives downcourt against the Agua Cliente Clippers in a Dec. 14 win at State Farm Arena. Photo by Bryan Ramos.

The Vipers have been on the road for nearly two weeks and suffered losses by one, two and six points in that span.

After four straight road games and trips to Tennessee, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, the Vipers are now home for three consecutive games starting Friday Feb. 9 as they face off against the Iowa Wolves at 7 p.m. at State Farm Arena.

The Vipers will be back on the hardwood once again Saturday night in back-to-back action when they host in-state rival Austin Spurs at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to bring two blankets to receive one ticket for Saturday’s Vipers’ game.

The Vipers will close out their home stand Tuesday Feb. 13 with a matchup against the Oklahoma City Blue.


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