In their first game this season without their NBA D-League All-Star Marcus Cousin, the Austin Toros took on the defending D-League champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers tonight at the Cedar Park Center.
For the first time this season between the two teams the home crowd was not able to witness a victory, as the Vipers won 117-97. Austin falls to 12-18 for the season.
Despite the Vipers bringing an eight-man roster to the Cedar Park Center (Vipers waived forward Stanley Asumnu before the game) the Toros fell behind quickly in the first quarter due to poor shooting. Their five buckets gave them 15 points while the Vipers dominated the first quarter and led by as many as 15 at one point. The team came close to meeting their season low in the quarter (13) which coincidently was against the Vipers last month.
In the second quarter the Toros were able to shrink the Vipers lead. A 15-6 lead sparked by Jermaine Beal’s jumper with 6:00 remaining before the half put the Toros within four at one point.
By the break the Vipers were headed to the locker room with a decent lead, 57-50. Coming off the bench Kevin Palmer added 10 points behind his perfect shooting (4-4). Jeff Adrien and Jerel McNeal put up 25 points for the Vipers in the first half.
By the third quarter the Vipers were practically down the home stretch and en route to adding another “W” to the win column. Seven of the eight Vipers players had recorded double-digit points by the start of the fourth. Beal and Palmer contributed 10 of the Toros 19 points in the quarter from the bench. Former Texas Longhorn Connor Atchley was perfect from long distance in the quarter and helped his team outscore the Toros 35-19. Heading in to the final 12 minutes of the game the Vipers led 92-69.
San Antonio Spurs’ rookie James Anderson, who is on assignment with the Toros, scored 12 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, in 23:21 minutes of play.
It’s apparent how big of a factor Cousin is to this team. Averaging 14.8 ppg and 8.6 rebs in his previous 29 games, Cousin can easily be considered the team leader and play maker out on the hardwood. Fans can only hope Cousin is healthy and able to play during Saturday’s rematch against the Vipers.
- Toros’ Kevin Palmer lead the team with 22 points.
- New Toro Eric Boateng scored 4 points and grabbed 2 rebounds.
- Toros shot 38% on 32-84 shooting for the game.