No matter what Capital City did to get back into the game in the second half, Rio Grande’s Danuel House wasn’t having it. He seemed to personally respond to many if not every second half run made by the GoGo. House finished with a game high 33 points, knocking down six of his 11 three point attempts and getting to the line 12 times(converting 11). Michael Frazier also had a big game for the Vipers, scoring all but three of his 16 points in the second half. The GoGo were led by Chasson Randle’s 24 points, Tiwian Kendley chipped in with 17 points as well. Rio Grande’s length and they’re ability to switch everything defensively really hampered the Capital City offense. Couple that with just a poor shooting night in general, the GoGo missed their fair share of open shots as well and that’s a tough hill to climb.
Vipers have nice size in their starting five outside of the 5’11 Angel Rodriguez. Prototypical NBA size and length from the two through five. Sampson really knows his game, didn’t seem to take any shots outside of his comfort zone. Was happy to take players off the bounce, especially with the GoGo starting three guards. Caboclo played a litle over seven minutes in the first period and he did a little of everything, he knocked down his three attempts from deep on the way to 12 points. Rio Grande was able to carve out a seven point lead by the end of the quarter.
Their size put Chiozza in a bit of foul trouble, so the GoGo didn’t have their main facilitator on the floor as much. Coach Christian changed things up a bit in the second quarter where Noah Allen and Isaiah Armwood came into the contest. They started the second period after playing the last two minutes of the first. Their size and athleticism helped spark a 7-0 Capital City Run to start the quarter. Rio Grande wouldn’t relinquish the lead fully as Zhou Qi had a big quarter, scoring nine points. Tiwian Kendley closed the half strong, attacking the basket with timely cuts. Randle added seven points in the quarter and the GoGo were able to cut the deficit to just thee at the half.
Despite going cold offensively int he third, the GoGo were still able to put the Vipers in the penalty. Michael Frazier really got going in the third, scoring eight points to spark the run that pushed his team’s lead to 12. Again Coach Christian went to that lineup with three bigs and his team was able to settle down enough to get back into it. Kendley weaved through traffic as the quarter ended to hit a layup, closing the deficit to just four.
House: He’s spent some time with the Wizards in the past, although it was brief. He showed out in this one, doing what one of the knocks on him has been which is knocking down jump shots. He only had a few of those powerful drives to the rim, electing instead to take and make three pointers. He also drew a couple of fouls while attempting three pointers. It was a good performance from him, especially considering how he got the 33 points.
Closeouts: Talking with Randle after the game, it’s clear that the GoGo struggled with how to adjust to the whistle when closing out on shooters. If it wasn’t a questionable call, it was just bad defense so that played a part in the tough night defensively as well.
Allen: His blend of size and skill really helped change the direction for the GoGo in the first half. At 6’9, 260 he has the ability to bang inside while being able to guard on the perimeter and handle the ball. His ability to handle the ball allowed his team to give the Vipers a wrinkle and unlock their halfcourt defense at times. It’s evident that he’s putting the work in as Christian acknowledged after the game.