SANTA CRUZ — The Santa Cruz Warriors had to venture into uncharted territory to get their seventh consecutive win this season.
The Warriors needed overtime to defeat the Idaho Stampede 102-95 on Friday night at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
Santa Cruz is 7-1 this month. The squad is 11-2 since going to Idaho and losing back-to-back contests on Feb. 10.
After surviving the fourth quarter, the Warriors outscored the Stampede 13-6 in the short three-minute session. With the win, the Warriors improved to 29-13 and put themselves on the brink of not only a playoff berth, but first place in the West Division. They’re a half-game behind Bakersfield (30-13).
Friday’s downtown battle wasn’t the only overtime thriller Friday night in the D-League; Tony Mitchell scored 47 points as the Fort Wayne Mad Ants won 106-104 in triple overtime against the Austin Toros.
In front of yet another sell-out crowd at 140 Front St., the Warriors used an 11-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to take a brief lead. The teams traded advantages until the Warriors put together a four-point spurt in the final minute to tie the game at 89-89.
Hilton Armstrong got his hand on those four points. After Coby Karl hit a jumper with 52 seconds to go, Armstrong went coast to coast to answer. Idaho came back looking to increase its 89-87 lead but got called for a traveling violation.
The Warriors got the bounce they needed to tie the contest soon after. Stefhon Hannah went for a jumper but it bounced to the left. Armstrong was in the right place to tip the ball back in, tying the game at 89-89 with 19 seconds to go.
Hannah got the overtime going with a pull-up three-pointer, bringing the crowd to its feet. That gave the Warriors a 92-89 lead; they never trailed the rest of the way.
Hannah’s free throws with 1:38 to go in the extra session were the kickstarters of a 7-0 run to give the Warriors enough cushion.
For the complete article see the 03-23-2013 issue.
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