The Wisconsin Herd tallied their 11th consecutive victory Saturday night as they took care of business over the defending G League champs, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Returning back to their friendly confines, the Wisconsin Herd took their winning streak to 11 games as they rolled past the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in a 128-115 victory Saturday night at Menominee Nation Arena.
Both the Herd and the Vipers got off to fast starts for the night, which set the shootout pace we saw for the majority of the contest. Yet it was the Herd, led by a 14-point first quarter from Jaylen Adams, who proved to be more explosive as they held a 40-29 edge at the end of one.
The Herd continued to build on their hot start and gained plenty of separation from the Vipers during the second period.
That was thanks to Rio Grande Valley going cold over the course of the quarter and as the Herd kept moving along comfortably, they entered the locker room at halftime with a 68-45 advantage.
Wisconsin didn’t slow down by any means once play picked back up in the second half, though the same couldn’t be said for their defense on the Vipers.
But even as the Vipers rattled off a 38-point period, the Herd stood firmly in the driver’s seat with a 99-83 lead through three.
Rio Grande Valley attempted to make things interesting throughout the fourth quarter, which coincided with the Herd’s offense getting a little bogged down and settling for uncharacteristic shots. But nothing came of the Vipers’ comeback push as they weren’t able to break their double-digit deficit before the Herd finished the win out in the closing minutes.
You didn’t have to look far for why the Herd were able to clinch their 11th straight victory as their regular starting five supplied 100 of their 128 total points for the night. And it was the three-headed monster of Adams, two-way player Frank Mason III and Rayjon Tucker who all gave the Herd the scoring punch they needed at various times throughout the night.
Starting with Tucker, the 22-year-old finished with 26 points on 16 shots (3-for-6 from deep, 2-for-3 from the foul line), two rebounds, one assist and a steal in 29 and a half minutes of burn. Tucker regularly displayed his fearlessness penetrating the paint and strength finishing through contact at the basket and showcased his endless hops on a pair of incredible dunks, including an alley-oop from Mason.
Mason also chipped in 26 points, only on 17 shots (4-for-8 from downtown, 1-for-1 from the foul line), seven assists, four turnovers and three steals in over 35 minutes of burn. Between his scoring and leading the offense for others, the former Jayhawk was a steady hand for the Herd all throughout the night and was central to the Herd avoiding disaster to put away the Vipers late in the final frame.
Finally, Adams set a new standard for his efficient scoring this season as he posted 23 points on 12 shots (4-of-6 from downtown), along with seven boards, five assists, two turnovers in over 34 minutes of run. That obviously included the 14-point first quarter where three of Adams’ four triples came from for the night and he often led the Herd’s offense with a mix and match of starters and reserves.
One area of concern for the Herd was the amount of reloads they gave up on the offensive glass as the Vipers were able to take advantage of the Herd’s size to snare down 17 offensive boards and convert 23 second chance points. Of course, the Herd pulled down 17 offensive rebounds in their own right, but some of their lapses late in the night could be explained by their performance on the glass.
The Herd will have a week-long layoff before getting back into the swing of things next Saturday night when they travel to take on the Canton Charge for a 6pm CT showdown.