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Vipers Clinch Playoff Berth

MCALLEN, TEXAS – The defending NBA DevelopmentLeague champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers are heading to the playoffs for thesecond consecutive year and playoff tickets go on sale on Monday at 10:00 a.m.

“We’re very pleased and proud to make the playoffsin consecutive years, but with the goals and the standards we have set forourselves, the playoffs are just the beginning of what we hope to accomplish,” Vipershead coach Chris Finch said.

Tickets can be purchased through the Vipers atthe Vipers Pro-Shop at Uptown Plaza in McAllen or by calling 972-1144. Ticketscan also be purchased online through Ticketmaster via, at theState Farm Arena box office, by calling Ticketmaster or at any Ticketmasteroutlet. A complete list of Ticketmaster outlets in the Rio Grande Valley can befound at

Playoff tickets are the same price as regularseason tickets, starting at just $7.

The Vipers clinched the berth when the SiouxFalls Skyforce beat the Texas Legends 99-96 in overtime last night at Dr PepperArena in Frisco. This guaranteed that the Legends couldn’t catch the Vipers inthe standings. Three teams can finish tied with the Vipers if the Vipers loseout and they win out – the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Austin Toros and Idaho Stampede.The Toros and Stampede have two games left against each other, meaning thatonly one of them can win out to catch the Vipers. Should the Vipers, Mad Antsand Toros all finish 28-22, the Toros will clinch the #7 seed by virtue oftaking the aggregate head-to-head series with the Vipers and Mad Ants 6-to-4.The Vipers would then clinch the #8 seed by virtue of winning the head-to-headseries with the Mad Ants, 1-to-0. Should the Vipers, Mad Ants and Stampede allfinish 28-22, the Stampede will clinch the #7 seed by virtue of taking theaggregate head-to-head series with the Vipers and Mad Ants 3-to-1. The Viperswould then clinch the #8 seed by virtue of winning the head-to-head series withthe Mad Ants, 1-to-0.

If only the Mad Ants win out and the Vipers loseout, the Vipers would finish as the #7 seed. If only the Stampede or Toros winout and the Vipers lose out, the Vipers would finish as the #8 seed.

Last season the Vipers won the WesternConference Championship and entered the playoffs as the #2 seed with a recordof 34-16. The Vipers beat the Reno Bighorns in three games in theQuarterfinals, the Toros in three games in the Semifinals and the Tulsa 66ersin two games in the Finals. The Vipers are currently half of one game behindthe 66ers for first place in the Western Conference standings. With a record of28-12, the Vipers have the third best record in the league. Eight of theVipers’ final ten games come at home at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, where theVipers are currently 12-4.


Viper's Magic Number Down to One

BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA – The defending NBA Development Leaguechampion Rio Grande Valley Vipers lowered their magic number to clinch a secondconsecutive playoff berth to one with a 126-111 win over the Bakersfield Jam onSaturday at the Jam Events Center.

The Vipers (28-12)will clinch a playoff berth with a win or if both the Austin Toros (17-22) andIdaho Stampede (16-22) lose one game each.

The Vipers hit10 of their first 16 shots, including 4-of-6 by Jerel McNeal who scored nine quick points while the Vipers jumpedout to a 25-13 lead in the opening eight minutes.

McNeal led allscorers with 31 points to go with five rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Down29-22 at the end of the first, the Jam (24-15) opened the second quarter on a9-1 run to pull within 31-10 after AdamKoch converted a three-point play at the 10:41 mark. The Vipers maintainedtheir lead until late in the quarter. With 55.1 seconds remaining, Tiny Gallon hit a jump-hook to give theJam their first lead since it was 2-0 at 57-56. Richard Roby responded with a three-pointer to give the Vipers thelead back and start an 8-0 run to give the Vipers a 64-57 halftime lead.

The Jam cameback to tie the game and take the lead a few times in the third quarter, butnever led by more than three points. The Jam got within three after Gallon hita jumper with three seconds left, but the Vipers moved the ball quickly up thecourt, and Mouhammad Faye banked-ina deep three-pointer from the right wing to give the Vipers a 94-88 lead.

Faye scored 20points, as did Terrel Harris. Jon Scheyer had his best game,s coring17 points with four rebounds, seven assists, three steals and one block.

The Jam wereled in scoring by Trey Johnson, whoscored 26 points. Drew Naymickrecorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds while Los AngelesClippers-assignee Willie Warrenscored 15 points with 10 assists.

The Vipers returnhome on Monday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m. at State Farm Arena when they host theSioux Falls Skyforce. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive rallytowels, courtesy of AT&T Real Yellow Pages. Fans can exchange their oldphone book for a new one from AT&T Real Yellow Pages. Fans can takeadvantage of the State Farm Family 4 Pack, which is four tickets, four hot dogsand four sodas for just $44. Additionally, fans can purchase hot dogs, popcornand soda for $1 each as well as $1.50 beer at the concession stand. Fans canreceive a free ticket by donating four non-perishable food items to theSalvation Army food drive starting when the doors open at 6:00 p.m.


Vipers Record 100th Franchise Victory

FRISCO, TEXAS – The defending NBA Development Leaguechampion Rio Grande Valley Vipers recorded their 100th franchisevictory and their first win at Dr. Pepper Arena with by beating the TexasLegends 122-112 on Tuesday.

The Vipers (24-11)opened the game on a 7-0 run and led by as many as 14 when Jerel McNeal hit a three-pointer to make it 28-14 Vipers at the4:06 mark of the first quarter.

The Legends(17-19), however, outscored the Vipers 23-8 over the next 7:19 to take theirfirst lead at 37-36 when Justin Dentmonhit a three-pointer. Jon Scheyerfollowed with his first basket as a Viper 11 seconds later to bring the Vipersback within one. The Vipers trailed by as many as eight at 54-46 with 3:24remaining in the second quarter after AntonioDaniels hit a technical free throw and again at 58-50 after Kelvin Lewis hit a lay-up. The Vipersclosed the quarter on a 6-0 run to pull within 58-56.

Mouhammad Faye gave the Vipers the lead back twice inthe third quarter, with a three-pointer to make it 68-67 at the 8:09 mark, anda three-point play to make it 80-79 at the 3:43 mark. Both times the Legendstook the lead right back, but PatrickSullivan connected on a transition slam dunk and Terrel Harris hit a driving lay-up as the Vipers took an 84-81 leadwith 2:43 remaining in the third quarter.

The Legendstied the game at 91-91 after a Lewis jumper early in the fourth, but the Viperswent on a 13-5 run capped by a TerrelHarris dunk to take a 104-96 lead midway through the fourth quarter. TheLegends scored the next six points to get back within two, but that was asclose as they got.

Jeff Adrien recorded his league-leading 20thdouble-double with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Richard Roby scored 22 points while tying his career-high with fiveassists and Faye finished with a career-high 20 points.

The Legendswere led by Dominique Johnson, whoscored 24 points with a season-high 10 rebounds.

The Vipersoutrebounded the Legends 53-to-30 and 23-to-10 on the offensive glass.

The Vipersreturn to action on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. when they face the Maine Red Clawsat the Portland Exposition Center.


NCAA Champ Joins Defending NBA Development League Champs

MCALLEN, TEXAS – The defending NBA DevelopmentLeague champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers announced Thursday that they haveacquired guard Jon Scheyer (6-5, 190,Duke), who was a part of Duke University’s 2010 NCAA Championship team.

During a four-year collegiate career, Scheyeraveraged 14.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 144 games. Hehad his best season as a senior during the championship run, averaging 18.2points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.6 steals in 40 games.

The Northbrook, Illinois-native scored 15 pointswith six rebounds, five assists, one steal and two blocks in the 61-59championship game win over Butler University on April 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium inIndianapolis, Indiana.

“We look forward to Jon’s arrival in the Rio GrandeValley. He is an accomplished young player and a good fit for our system. Inaddition, it will be rewarding to evaluate him up close in our environment,” saidVipers General Manager Gersson Rosas,who is also the Vice President of Player Personnel for the Houston Rockets.

Scheyer took part in the 2010 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas with the MiamiHeat, scoring 11 points with five rebounds, three assists and two steals in hisdebut against the New Orleans Hornets on July 11. Two days later, though, in agame against the Golden State Warriors, Scheyer was poked in the right eye, sufferingoptic nerve damage as well as a tear in the retina.

The 23-year old went to NBA Training Camp withthe Los Angeles Clippers, recording one assist while missing all four of hisshot attempts in 19 minutes over the course of two games.

 No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. College

 9 JonScheyer G 6-5 190 Duke

 10 TerrelHarris G 6-5 190 OklahomaState

 11 Jerel McNeal G 6-3 200 Marquette

 15 PatrickSullivan PF 6-9 215 S.E. Louisiana

 18 MattJanning G 6-4 198 Northeastern

 21 RichardRoby SF 6-6 210 Colorado

 32 MouhammadFaye PF 6-9 215 SMU

 34 ConnorAtchley C 6-10 225 Texas

 50 JeffAdrien C 6-7 245 UConn


McNeal Selected for Shooting Stars Competition

MCALLEN, TEXAS – The defending NBA DevelopmentLeague champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers announced Tuesday that guard Jerel McNeal (6-3, 200, Marquette) is apart of the NBA D-League Haier Shooting Stars Competition during NBADevelopment League Dream Factory Friday Night presented by Haier on February 18at 10:00 p.m. at Center Court at NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidasat the Los Angeles Convention Center.

This is the second year in a row a Viper hastaken part in the competition, following in the footsteps of the reigning NBADevelopment League Most Valuable Player, MikeHarris (6-6, 235, Rice).

NBA D-League Haier Shooting Stars makes itssecond appearance at NBA D-League Dream Factory Friday night presented byHaier, and features 12 NBA D-League stars competing in four teams of three in atwo-round timed shooting event. The Haier Shooting Stars contest features sixnumbered shooting locations of increasing difficulty, with each team attemptingto make all shots in numeric order in the fastest time. Each team will select aspecific player rotation to follow throughout the competition. Each shot mustbe made before the next player begins shooting in succession. Teams have up totwo minutes to complete the entire shooting course and the team that completesall six shots in the least amount of time is declared the winner. In the caseof a tie, a shoot-off will be used to determine the winner.

McNeal is averaging 18.6 points (fifth in theleague), 4.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 33 games and starts. He isshooting 45.1% from the field, 34.6% from behind the arc and 82.4% from thefoul line. He had the fifth-highest individual points output of the season with40 against the Reno Bighorns on December 11, 2010.