SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Warriors (12-9) secured a 115-112 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (15-7) tonight in front of a sold out crowd at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Tonight’s tightly contested game featured 12 lead changes and nine tie scores, with Vipers guard Tony Wroten missing a game-tying off-balance three to allow Santa Cruz to escape with the win.
Santa Cruz pulled away from the Vipers in the fourth quarter thanks to forward Terrence Jones scoring 12 points (6-6 FG) in the final frame. In the fourth, Santa Cruz converted 63.2% of their shots (12-19 FG), compared to 38.5% (10-26 FG) for the Vipers.
For the night, Santa Cruz shot 51.3% from the field tonight (41-80), compared to Rio Grande’s 46.4% (45-97). The Warriors drew 23 fouls on the Vipers leading to 36 free throws for Santa Cruz, compared to only 12 drawn fouls and 17 free throws by the Vipers. Santa Cruz narrowly outdid the lighting-fast Vipers in transition, scoring 29 fast break points to Rio Grande Valley’s 26 points.
The Warriors were led by front court duo Georges Niang and Jones scoring 27 points each, with Jones adding 16 rebounds, five assists and six blocks. Two-way player Quinn Cook finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and nine assists while center Damian Jones, currently on assignment from the Golden State Warriors, had 16 points and seven rebounds, keeping the Sea Dubs afloat in the second quarter with eight points in the period.
Former Warrior Cleanthony Early led all scorers with 29 points (11-18 FG, 4-6 3FG) and six rebounds, while center Chinanu Onuaku, currently on assignment from the Houston Rockets, finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Denver Nuggets two-way player Monte Morris had 18 points and nine assists for the Vipers.
The Warriors will begin a six-game road trip starting this Saturday, December 30 against the Erie Bayhawks. The Warriors will return home on Wednesday, January 17 against the Reno Bighorns to begin a six-game homestand at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Tickets for every game during the team’s January homestand 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 visit santacruzbasketball.com or call (831) 713-4400.