SANTA CRUZ — The Santa Cruz Warriors pulled off another comeback Monday night as they defeated the visiting Idaho Stampede for the fourth time this year, 89-84.
With the win the Warriors (31-13) pushed their winning streak to an impressive nine games.
The streak dates back to March 2, when the Ws scored a franchise-high 130 points over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Since then, they have scored more than 100 points in six of eight games, and they have held their opponents under 100 points in the same amount of games.
The Warriors opened up the game sluggish and didn’t take their first lead until Darington Hobson hit a three with 2.7 left to go in the first quarter.
The Stampede (15-30) would respond and retake the lead with the start of the second quarter. They would not relinquish the lead until the Warriors made an 8-2 run in the final moments of the third quarter to take a 62-60 lead heading into the final period.
The stampede mounted their final charge with 8:39 remaining in the game. Justin Holiday hit a 3-point shot to tie the game at 66. The Warriors answered as Scott Machado would go to the free-throw line and nail both shots to put them up by two. Machado would then feed Jeremy Tyler for an alley-oop slam to raise the lead to four.
Idaho wasn’t ready to give up as Sean Evans made two back-to-back jumpers to tie the game back up at 70.
The two teams traded baskets up until the final minute of the game, when the Warriors went on a final 8-5 run to go up by three with 1.7 seconds left in the game.
Holiday would get one final attempt a three, but it was no good and the Warriors walked away with the win.
Tyler lead the Warriors with 22 points on the night, and he also grabbed six rebounds. Cameron Jones chipped in 16 points scoring half of them from the stripe. He finished a perfect 8-8 from the free-throw line. Hilton Armstrong fell just short of his fifth double-double with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Holiday lead all scorers with 28 points, 15 of them coming in the first quarter. Coby Carl had a nice game with 18 points and eight assist. Former Santa Cruz Warrior Carlon Brown had just six points on 3-13 shooting.
Santa Cruz shot 40.5 percent from the field and held Idaho to 36.2 percent. Santa Cruz also connected on 89.3 percent from the stripe compared to the Stampede’s 77.8 percent. The Warriors outrebounded Idaho, 45-36, scored more points in the paint, 48-22, and collected more steals, 15-11.
With the win the Warriors move to just a half game back of the Bakersfield Jam for first place in the D-League. They will play the Idaho Stampede once again in their final match-up of the season this Wednesday.
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