Vipers stay hot, scorch Warriors for fourth straight win

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers play against Santa Cruz on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022.

EDINBURG — The RGV Vipers offensive arsenal has found its groove.

For the third straight game, the Vipers (5-3) played lights out on the offensive end of the court, and the defense held Santa Cruz to just 15 third-quarter points en route to a dominant 134-110 win over the Warriors on Tuesday at Bert Ogden Arena.

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers play against Santa Cruz on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022.

It was the fourth straight win for the streaking hot Vipers, and third consecutive lop-sided victory. It was the third straight game the Vipers scored 130 or more points. All 10 Vipers who played scored.

RGV scored 35 or more points during each of the first three quarters and had the game in hand 108-74 after three periods.

Christian Vital scored a career-high 30 points for the Vipers. Daishen Nix netted 30 points, adding seven assists, five rebounds and four steals before fouling out with four minutes remaining and the Warriors closing a 34-point gap to 16 at that point. Vital nailed six 3-pointers in the game, four straight coming during the second quarter as the Warriors closed to within two after trailing by 19 during the period.

Overall, the Vipers connected on 15-of-47 (32%) shots beyond the arc. Trev Queen struggled shooting, going 1-for-12 from 3-point land and 4-for-18 overall, but still pulled down 14 rebounds, dished out nine assists and added six steals, leaving him one assist shy of a triple-double. Queen leads the G League in steals.

The Vipers are the highest-scoring team in the league, averaging just more than 124 points per contest. Six Vipers scored in double digits while two others contributed nine points apiece.

Kalob Ledoux scored 17 to lead Santa Cruz.

The Vipers again play Santa Cruz at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Bert Ogden Arena. It will be the fifth game of a six-game home stand for RGV, which is now 4-0 during that home stretch.


The NBA G League named RGV Vipers’ Daishen Nix the NBA G League Player of the Week for games played from Jan. 17-23.

During four games, the two-way player for the Houston Rockets averaged 27.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.8 steals while Rio Grande Valley went 3-1. He shot 56.9% from the field, 71.4% from the free-throw line and 50% from beyond the arc.

Nix ranks fourth in the league in scoring with 27.4 points per game and third in steals with 3.0 per game.


The Vipers added forward Phillip Wheeler and small forward Jordan Tucker to the active roster for Tuesday’s game against the Santa Cruz Warriors.

During the 2021-22 season, Wheeler played in four games with the Mexico City Capitanes. In 2020-21, he appeared in 40 games oversees with both Gimnasia Indalo of the Argentinian Liga A and Atleticos de San German of the Puerto Rican Baloncesto Superior Nacional. He averaged 8.2 points and 2.9 rebounds. The 19-year old earned a Bronze medal at the 2018 U17 World Cup Tournament with the Puerto Rico National team.

Tucker averaged 3.9 points and 3.0 rebounds in nine games with the Windy City Bulls from 2021-22. From 2019-20, the small forward played in college for the Butler Bulldogs. He appeared in 30 games averaging 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds.