SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Warriors (16-13) fell to the visiting Iowa Wolves (15-11) tonight in front of the 43rd consecutive sellout crowd at Kaiser Permanente Arena, 113-116. Despite leading since midway through the first quarter, and 12 consecutive fourth-quarter points by two-way guard Quinn Cook, Santa Cruz was doomed by Iowa’s 37 fourth-quarter points on 55.0% (11-20) shooting.
With the score tied at 111 with 17.5 seconds remaining, Santa Cruz was called for an excess timeout technical foul, losing possession and was never able to recoup the lead. Tonight was Santa Cruz’s third consecutive loss and Iowa’s 10th victory in their last 12 games.
Cook established a Warriors season-high with 43 points (16-27 FG, 5-8 3FG) to go along with 11 assists and only one turnover. This is only the second 40-point, 10-assist game of the 2017-18 NBA G League season (SBL’s Alex Caruso, December 8 vs. Sioux Falls).
The Warriors lineup featured sharpshooters Damion Lee collecting 21 points (9-12 FG) and 7 rebounds, with Avry Holmes collecting 16 points (5-7 FG) off the bench. Center Damian Jones, on assignment from the Santa Cruz Warriors, had 16 points and extended his league-leading field goal percentage to 68.0% (187-275 FG) with a 7-11 shooting night.
Iowa was led by two-way forward Anthony Brown’s 22 points (9-19 FG), with 15 of his points (6-6 FG) coming in the fourth quarter. All five Wolves starters scored in double digits, including a 17 point, 9 rebound performance by two-way forward Amile Jefferson and 20 points off the bench by guard Elijah Millsap.
The Warriors shot 61.9% (13-21) from the field and held an 11-5 rebounding advantage in the first quarter to take a nine-point lead. Santa Cruz gained momentum with Cook’s perfect 19-point second quarter (7-7 FG, 3-3 3FG, 2-2 FT) to give the team a double digit halftime lead. Damion Lee scored 12 points in the third, including the first eight of the period, but the Wolves went on a 13-0 run to set up the thrilling fourth quarter. The Wolves made a 15-5 run mid-way through the fourth quarter to take their first lead since early in the first quarter, and Santa Cruz’s late game turnover proved insurmountable.
Santa Cruz will host the second leg of their back-to-back weekend slate tomorrow night (7:00 p.m.) against the Agua Caliente Clippers (14-13). Tomorrow is Watsonville Community Jersey Night, with the first 1,500 fans in attendance receiving a Warriors rally towel, and a postgame jersey auction benefitting Hospice of Santa Cruz County. Tickets for Saturday’s game are available at santacruzbasketball.com or by calling (831) 713-4400.
For more information on the Santa Cruz Warriors 2017-18 season, presented by Kaiser Permanente, please visitwww.santacruzbasketball.com or call (831) 713-4400.