SANTA CRUZ, CA –The Santa Cruz Warriors (22-7) saw their six-game win streak come to an end against the Sioux Falls Skyforce (20-10) tonight, falling 103-96 at the Sanford Pentagon.
Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson had a career-best shooting night by scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 from the field (66.7 percent) and 3-of-3 from distance to go with five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Warriors guard Kendrick Nunn scored 21 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists off the bench, while two-way guard Damion Lee chipped in 18 points in 26 minutes for the Sea Dubs.
The Skyforce were paced by two-way forward Duncan Robinson’s 24 points, 21 of which came in the first half. Guard Briante Weber had 22 points off the bench on 9-of-12 from the field, and forward Charles Cooke had 17 points and a game-high four steals for Sioux Falls.
Sioux Falls jumped out to a nine-point lead in the first quarter by shooting 50.0 percent from the field (9-of 18 FG) and holding an 14-8 advantage on the boards. However, Santa Cruz ended the period on a 9-0 run, capped by a steal and buzzer-beating three-pointer by Toscano-Anderson, to claim their first lead at the quarter break, 23-22.
The two teams played to a dead heat until Robinson led a 24-3 Sioux Falls run in the second period, personally scoring 14 points on four three-pointers, to give the Skyforce a 63-46 lead at halftime. Robinson totaled 19 points in the period to help Sioux Falls to a 41-point quarter thanks to a 58.3 percent shooting for the quarter (14-of-24 FG) including 6-of-10 from three.
Lee and Nunn scored 21 of the team’s 25 points in the fourth quarter to bring the Warriors deficit to within five with 1:49 remaining but could not close the deal as Sioux Falls claimed the seven point win. After hitting 12 threes to the Skyforce’s eight, the Sea Dubs are now 12-1 when hitting at least as many triples as their opponent.
The Warriors conclude their three-game road trip this Friday in Northern California on Friday, January 25 against the Stockton Kings. The team will then return to Santa Cruz to face the South Bay Lakers on Sunday, January 27 (5:00 p.m. PST, NBC Sports Bay Area) for the team’s first Latinx Heritage Night. For tickets to Sunday’s home game, visit santacruzbasketball.com or call (831) 713-4400.