"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- 

The defending NBA

Development League champion and third-seeded Rio Grande Valley

Vipers led by as many as 16 points in the second quarter but the

sixth-seeded Bakersfield Jam rallied late to win 110-105 in Game 1

of the Quarterfinals on Friday at the Jam Events Center.

"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">The Vipers (0-1) trail the

best-of-three series 1-0 and can move onto the semifinals and must

win Game 2 on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at State Farm Arena to force a

decisive Game 3. Houston Rockets Hall of Fame mascot Clutch the

Bear and the Rockets Power Dancers will perform.

 There will be a free pre-game tailgate party in the

parking lot beginning at 5:00 p.m., courtesy of Pepper’s at Uptown

and Budweiser. Tickets start at $7 and can be purchased by calling

the Vipers at 972-1144 or online through Ticketmaster via


"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">After Stephen

Dennis scored the first four points of the game for the

Jam (1-0), the Vipers scored the next nine points, the last four of

which came on a basket and two free throws by Mouhammad

Faye. The Jam climbed within 23-21 at the 2:22 mark after

Los Angeles Lakers-assignee Derrick Carracter fed

Brandon Wallace for an alley-oop, but the Vipers

went on a 6-2 run to close the first quarter to take a 29-23


"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">The Vipers extended the run into

a 9-3 run at the start of the second quarter, going up 32-24 after

Richard Roby’s driving lay-up at the 9:59 mark.

The Jam climbed within 40-38 two and a half minutes later, but

Arinze Onuaku hit a lay-up, Jerel

McNeal nailed a three-pointer and Onuaku dunked the ball

to put the Vipers up 47-38 at the 5:20 mark. The Vipers extended it

into a 20-6 run when Roby hit a lay-up at the 2:02 mark to give the

Vipers a 60-44 lead.

"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">The Jam took the lead back at

94-92 when Jeremy Wise hit a three-pointer with

5:33 remaining. Roby hit a jumper to tie the game, but Trey

Johnson responded with a jumper to give the Jam the lead

back. Matt Janning and Roby combined to hit four

consecutive free throws as the Vipers took a 98-86 lead with 3:54

remaining, but Johnson and Wise each hit a free throw and

Derrick Byars hit a jumper to give the Jam a

two-point edge.

"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">Roby nailed a three-pointer to

tie the game at 102-102, but Johnson hit a jumper with 1:38

remaining to give the Jam the lead back. Johnson hit another

jumpers with 19.2 seconds left and Wise hit a pair of free throws

with 10.4 seconds left to give the Jam a 108-102 lead.

Connor Atchley drained a three-pointer with 8.6

seconds left to bring the Vipers within three, but Wise hit a pair

of free throws with 7.2 seconds left to put the game


"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">The Vipers were led in scoring by

McNeal, who scored 22 points with six assists while Jon

Scheyer scored 20 points with fice rebounds, six assists

and two steals.

"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">Johnson scored a game-high 29

points while Wise scored 24, 15 of which came from the foul




Score –


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