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Santa Cruz gets revenge on Rio Grande Valley

Modified: Sunday, Mar 3rd, 2013

Santa Cruz's Daniel Nwaelele dribbles to the hoop past Rio Grande Valley's Andrew Gouldelock during the first half Saturday night at Kaiser Permanente Arena. (Glenn Cravens/Register-Pajaronian)

SANTA CRUZ The Santa Cruz Warriors needed to wait only 24 hours to get a second crack at the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, who smacked them silly Friday night.

When they ran it back, the Warriors threw the virtual uppercut and left the Vipers woozy with a 130-112 decision.

The 130-point mark is a new season high for the Warriors, who improved to 23-13 on the season.

Unlike Friday night, where the home team took nearly two minutes to get on the board, they broke through in the first 15 seconds, as Hilton Armstrong used a bunny hook for the first points of the game.

The Warriors powered their way to a 40-22 first quarter, the second time this homestand they have put up 40 points in a quarter.

The lead yo-yo'd but remained in double digits for the first half.

Rio Grande Valley, the affiliate of several NBA teams, was pressured all night and couldn't find that one push to get them to within hold-your-breath status. The Vipers did score seven early points in the third quarter to get to within 68-61 with 10:31 to go. Santa Cruz answered back with back-to-back buckets to get the lead to 11.

Daniel Nwaelele powered the Warriors with 20 points off the bench. He was the hot hand, shooting 5-for-8 from three-point land to help the Warriors keep Rio Grande Valley at bay.

Taylor Griffin, a day after getting 24 stitches above one of his eyes, had a team-high 21 points. Cameron Jones was three assists away from a triple-double. He tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The national eyes will probably look at Rio Grande Valley's Royce White, who got ejected with 4:44 to go in the game because he picked up his second technical foul. White, drafted by the Rockets, rode an RV 34 consecutive hours to get to Santa Cruz for the back-to-back series. On Saturday, he had seven points.

Former Los Angeles Laker Andrew Gouldelock had 23 points, while Tyler Honeycutt had 25 points to lead the Vipers (21-14).

If the crowd wasn't already into a frenzy with the high-scoring affair and the giveaway of a Golden State Warriors' Andrew Bogut bobblehead, Mickell Gladness took it to another level, putting in the 100th point of the game early in the fourth quarter to assure the sold-out crowd free Slurpees.

The Warriors shot 48.9 percent from the court.

For the complete article see the 03-05-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-05-2013 paper.

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