HIDALGO, Tex. – The Santa Cruz Warriors (27-19) defeated the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (29-17) 138-125 on Tuesday night at State Farm Arena.
Jabari Brown led all scorers with 36 points off 12-of-18 shooting for the Warriors. James Southerland added 31 points, while Damian Jones, on assignment from the Golden State Warriors, notched a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. LaDontae Henton contributed 17 points and 6 rebounds off the bench, while Phil Pressey notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists.
The Vipers were paced by Isaiah Taylor who notched a double-double with 22 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds. Jaron Johnson came off the bench to add 21 points for Rio Grande Valley, while Darius Morris contributed 20 points. Chinanu Onuaku also notched a double-double, finishing with 19 points and 15 rebounds.
The Warriors used the first quarter to find separation from the Vipers outscoring the hosts 33-24. The visitors expanded their lead to as many as 19 points in the second period behind hot-shooting from Jabari Brown and James Southerland who combined for 20 points in the frame.
Santa Cruz continued to execute their offense in the third quarter, shooting 68.4% from the field and 57.1% from distance. Though the Vipers would chip away at their deficit to come within two possessions of the Warriors, two consecutive three-pointers from Jabari Brown as the third period came to a close would give Santa Cruz a 101-90 lead heading into the final frame.
Rio Grande Valley opened the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run to limit their deficit to three points with 10:23 remaining in regulation. The Warriors would battle back and re-build their advantage to as many as 14 points in the frame to secure their victory and take the season series 3-1 against the Vipers.
The Santa Cruz Warriors will remain in Texas to take on the Austin Spurs on Thursday, Mar. 23 at 5:30 p.m. PST at Cedar Park Center. Fans can catch the game the game on Facebook Live by visiting the Santa Cruz Warriors’ Facebook page at tip-off.
Tickets are still available to attend the Warriors’ final home game of the regular season on Mar. 31 against the Los Angeles D-Fenders. 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.