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Bighorns square series with Vipers

Provided to the Tribune

Facing elimination from their first-ever trip to the postseason, the Reno Bighorns picked up a gutsy 128-126 victory over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers Monday in Dodge Arena. The win evened the first-round series at one game apiece and forces a decisive game three on Tuesday night.

With the game tied and down to the final seconds, D.J. Strawberry connected on a jumper to put the Bighorns up by two with five seconds remaining. Rio Grande Valley failed to convert in the closing seconds, pushing Reno to its first-ever postseason win.

The Bighorns caught fire early, but the Vipers rallied back in the second half. Reno led by seven points after one and augmented the lead to 11 at the break. Rio Grande Valley stormed back to take a five-point lead with just 1:35 to go, but Reno scored the final seven points of the game to extend the series.

Rod Benson led all scorers with 29 points and 18 boards in 40 minutes of action. Desmon Farmer hit four three-pointers en route to 27 points, and Strawberry added 21 points and three blocks for the Bighorns.

Antonio Anderson paced the Vipers with 28 points and seven rebounds. Will Conroy kicked in 27 points, eight boards and six assists.

The Bighorns and Vipers will now move forward to a decisive game three on Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. in Dodge Arena. The game can be seen live on NBA Futurecast by visiting http://www.RenoBighorns.com.


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