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Rio Grande valley rallies for 127-113 win over Reno



reno_bighorns-300x156-8536182-3232199Despite a near triple-double effort for Reno’s Rod Benson, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers used a dominant third-quarter effort and a monster performance from Michael Harris to knock-off the Bighorns, 127-113, Saturday night in the Reno Events Center.

Reno (21-22) took a four-point lead into halftime with Benson carrying the load. The 6-10 center went to intermission with 14 points and 11 boards. But out of the locker room, Rio Grande Valley (31-13) owned the third period of play. The Vipers outscored Reno 36-to-18 in the quarter and never looked back, forcing a split in the weekend series.

Benson led six Bighorns in double figures with 21 points, seven blocks and 14 rebounds—including eight on the offensive end. Richie Frahm knocked down four three-pointers on his way to 16 points, and Desmon Farmer collected 19 points. DJ Strawberry came off the bench to chip-in 15 points and 11 assists for Reno.

Reno buried 11-of-25 three-point attempts, but struggled at the free-throw line, shooting just 62.5 percent from the stripe.

The Vipers were led by a 36-point, 17-rebound effort by Harris. Julian Sensley notched a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards, while Will Conroy finished with 12 points and 10 assists.

Rio Grande Valley shot 53.3 percent from the field and 84.0 percent from the free-throw line on the evening.

Next up for Reno is its final road series of the season, as the Bighorns will take on the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Tip-time from the Toyota Sports Center is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday and 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The action can be seen live on NBA Futurecast by visiting www.RenoBighorns.com.

The Bighorns round-out the 2009-10 season with five-straight games at home, beginning with a weekend series against Maine next Friday and Saturday night. Tickets are on-sale now at www.RenoBighorns.com, the Reno Events Center Box Office, Silver Legacy Box Office, or by visiting any Northern Nevada Ticketmaster location or Web site.

The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league whose teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises.  For the 2009-10 season, the league will feature 16 teams – including the debut of the Maine Red Claws and the Springfield Armor.  A proven developer of talent, 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season boasted NBA D-League experience, while the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front office staff for the NBA and its teams.  In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs.  The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA.  Throughout the season fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.

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