SANTA CRUZ, CA – The Santa Cruz Warriors (3-3) attempted multiple rallies against the Northern Arizona Suns (2-2), but could never maintain a lasting advantage before eventually falling 109-100 tonight. The game marks the team’s first-ever home loss against the Northern Arizona Suns (1-6 all time) and the first time Santa Cruz has lost back-to-back at Kaiser Permanente Arena (following Sunday’s 102-77 loss against Salt Lake City) since the 2017-18 season finale on March 24, 2018.
The Warriors were paced by guard Vander Blue’s 16 points on a season-best four made three-pointers (4-of-6 3FG). Guard Jeremy Pargo added 14 points, four rebounds and four assists, and Deyonta Davis contributed eight points in the second half, nine rebounds and three blocks.
The Suns were led by two-way guard Jared Harper’s 20 points in just 21 minutes, while backcourt mate ShawnDre Jones added a timely 12-point, 11-assist double-double. Center Tariq Owens tallied a new season-high of 17 points to go along with 13 rebounds and a season-high four blocks, while center Norense Odiase also added a season-high 13 rebounds off the bench in 19 minutes.
Northern Arizona ended the first quarter on a 7-2 run, with Jones collecting four points and three assists in the final minutes. The Suns built their lead up to double digits in the second frame thanks to a 15-6 rebounding differential with the Warriors shooting only 38.6 percent in the half (17-of-44 FG) and staying close thanks to the three-point accuracy (7-of-15 3FG, 46.7 percent) of Blue (2-of-3 3FG) and Isaiah Reese (2-of-2 3FG).
Though Santa Cruz went on a 9-2 run in the third quarter to take a pair of one-point leads, Jones once again helped the Suns regain the advantage with steals, assists and floaters to end the quarter with a 81-76 lead. A pair of Zeisloft three-pointers sparked an 8-0 run to bring the fourth-quarter deficit to within a point, 90-89, but the Suns immediately responded with a 10-2 run to put the game away for good.
Northern Arizona held a 33-9 advantage in fast break points tonight, and also maintained a 50-37 rebounding advantage.
The Warriors now go on a two-game Texas road trip, first visiting the Rio Grande Vipers at Bert Ogden Arena with a 5:30 p.m. tipoff before heading to Frisco to face the Texas Legends Monday night. The team will return home for a Black Friday game on Friday, November 29 at 7:00 p.m. against the Iowa Wolves. The first 1,500 fans in the arena will receive a Draymond Green San Francisco bobblehead. To secure seats for next Friday night and for all Santa Cruz Warriors home games, fans are encouraged to visitsantacruzbasketball.com or call (831) 713-4400.
For more information on the Santa Cruz Warriors 2019-20 NBA G League season, presented by Kaiser Permanente, visitsantacruzbasketball.com or call (831) 713-4400.