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Legends survive Vipers, grab fifth straight win

The Legends would extend their win streak to five on Saturday with a with a 144-141 win over Rio Grande Valley.

Rio Grande was paced by Julian Lewis who finished up with 32. Guards Markel Brown and Shane Richards also finished with 29 and 28 respectively.

As for Texas, they were led by big man Jameel Warney with 33 points and 7 rebounds. Forward Brandon Ashley finished with  a nice 27 point, 8 rebound showing. But the real star of the show was Donald Sloan and his 35 point, 12 assist outburst.

After his explosive 34 point, 9 assist night in his previous outing, Sloan had it going early again.

He quarterbacked his team to an explosive 68 point first 24 minutes in which he contributed 14 points and 8 assists.

“Just finally getting healthy.” Sloan said when asked what his recent strong play can be attributed to.

Among the beneficiaries of Sloans 1st half playmaking was wing Brandon Ashley. The Arizona product contributed in every facet during the first half. He scored 22, grabbed 4 rebounds, recorded 3 steals, and blocked 2 shots. It was a big bounce back for him especially after a poor showing the previous night.

“I really just wanted to get back out there and affect the game as best as I could.” Ashley said.

Their contributions were enough to help the Legends carry a 68-63 lead into the half.

The third quarter was one that was seemingly dominated by Texas, but Rio Grande was somehow able to hang around by getting to the free throw line. They shot twelve in the quarter, with several  coming from technical fouls being assessed on the Legends.

The Texas lead would be six heading into the final frame because of it.

The Legends wouldn’t waste anytime trying to put it away either. An 11-4 run right out of the fourth quarter chute, sparked by Donald Sloan and some tenacious defense would extend the lead to 15 with 7:38 to play.

An immediate response by sharpshooter Shane Richards would put the pressure right back on. He scored back to back buckets to bring the lead right back down to 10 in less than thirty seconds, 124-114 Texas with 7:00 to play.

The Vipers had done a remarkable job to get it widdled down to just one with thirty seconds to play, but unfortunately for them, Donald Sloan happened again.

After Wade Baldwin shot an air ball that fell right into the arms of a waiting Xavier Johnson, the ball was immediately tossed back out to Sloan up top. With the Shot clock winding down, he calmly stepped into a three and put the Vipers away for good.

Assistant coach Zendon Hamilton jokingly called Baldwin’s fortuitous airball a “pass.”

“A win is a win.” He said smiling.

The Legends will be back in action Tuesday night against Reno.

Staff writer covering the Dallas Mavericks, Texas Legends and TCU basketball | Stephen "Reese" Konkle. 21 years old, currently enrolled at UNT working towards my degree in Digital/print media with a sports certification. Have a passion for basketball, and the Mavericks. Looking to bring Mavs fans a fresh, interesting perspective on the greatest game in the world.

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