SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Warriors (19-16) defeated the Reno Bighorns (12-23) 116-96 on Wednesday night at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Warriors would hold the lead throughout the entirety of the game in a front of a twenty-third consecutive capacity crowd.
Phil Pressey led the Warriors with a double-double, notching 21 points and 11 assists. James Southerland (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Dennis Clifford (14 points, 10 rebounds) also finished with double-doubles for Santa Cruz. Scott Wood contributed 15 points, while Cleanthony Early and Cam Jones both added 11 points apiece off the bench.
The Bighorns were paced by Gary Neal who finished with 21 points. Four players recorded double-doubles for the Bighorns: Isaiah Cousins (16 points, 11 rebounds), Kendall Marshall (16 points, 10 rebounds), Reggie Hearn (16 points, 10 rebounds), and Will Davis (10 points, 10 rebounds).
The Warriors got off to a hot-shooting start, completing 51.7% attempts from the field, including 45.5% team shooting from beyond-the-arc. Santa Cruz and Reno combined for a total of 38 points in the paint, with the Warriors edging Reno 20-18.
The Warriors would expand on an eight-point in the second quarter, opening the frame on a 13-6 run. Santa Cruz held Reno to 27.6% team shooting and a 16.7% effort from beyond-the-arc in the frame to expand their lead to 18 points to enter the break.
The Warriors extended their lead to 22 points just two minutes into the third frame before Reno’s offense ignited to bring the visitors within striking distance. In the ensuing eight minutes of the period, Reno went on a 27-9 run to cut their deficit to 4 points. Despite being outscored 29-19 in the third period, Santa Cruz would manage to carry an eight-point lead into the final frame.
The fourth quarter was a high-energy battle that saw the Warriors keep at least a two-possession cushion throughout the length of frame. James Southerland would get a steal and convert on the other end of the floor to spark a scoring spree from the hosts. The Warriors would not allow Reno to score in the remaining 3:44 of regulation to cruise to a twenty-point margin of victory.
The Santa Cruz Warriors will travel to Sacramento to take on the Reno Bighorns on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:00 p.m. PST at the Golden 1 Center. The Warriors will return home to take on the Windy City Bulls on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m. PST to celebrate Tie Dye Jersey Night presented by Awe-Sum Organics. The jerseys worn during Saturday’s match-up will be auctioned off in-game to benefit the Homeless Garden Project. Fans can catch the game on Facebook Live, by visiting the Santa Cruz Warriors’ Facebook page at tip-off.
Santa Cruz Warriors tickets can be purchased at the Santa Cruz Warriors headquarters at 903 Pacific Avenue, online at www.santacruzbasketball.com or over the phone at (831) 713-4400.