The Austin Spurs returned to action on Tuesday night, falling to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 101-96 in front of 4,188 people at the State Farm Arena.
Austin was led by another strong performance from Deshaun Thomas who had 19 points, four rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes. Also for the silver and black, Youssou Ndoye added in 18 points and nine rebounds off the bench, while shooting 14 of 16 from the free throw line. Julian Washburn tallied a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in 43 minutes, as the Spurs played slightly shorthanded with only nine active players.
For Rio Grande Valley, guard Will Cummings lit up the scoreboard with 27 points in addition to five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Helping seal the deal for the Vipers was Jaron Johnson who scored 20 points on 6 of 15 shooting, while Raphiael Putney notched his 12th double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Vipers started the game on a 11-0 run, but the Spurs would eventually claw their way back to end the first quarter tied at 22. In the second quarter, DeMetri McCamey would drop in a sweet finger roll that lifted the Spurs to a 9-2 run to end the half up 50-43.
Madness would ensue in the third quarter, with Austin holding its largest lead of the game, 70-55, over the Vipers with just over five minutes left in the quarter. Rio Grande Valley would use a 18-3 run led by Will Cummings and Chris Walker that would tie the game at 73 heading into the fourth. Austin regained control of the lead until the final minute of the fourth when Jaron Johnson hit a three to give the Vipers a 95-93 lead with 32 seconds remaining. After a pair of free throws from Cummings, Keifer Sykes hit a three to bring Austin within one point, 97-96, but the Vipers would seal the game at the free throw line lifting them to the 101-96 final score.
The Austin Spurs (20-12) will get two chances at a win this weekend with a home back-to-back versus the Oklahoma City Blue. Tipoff for Friday’s game is at 7:30 PM CST from the Cedar Park Center.