SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Warriors (24-17) defeated the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (23-17) 144-123 on Friday night in front of a twenty-seventh consecutive sellout crowd at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Six players for the Warriors scored in double-figures, en route to notching a fifth straight victory.
Phil Pressey led all scorers with 26 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds for the Warriors. Jabari Brown added 24 points and 5 rebounds off the bench, while LaDontae Henton recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Cleanthony Early contributed 20 points off the bench, while Elgin Cook also came off the bench to score 20 points in just under 15 minutes of play in his first game back since Dec. 29, 2016.
The Mad Ants were paced by Alex Poythress, who contributed 24 points and 7 rebounds. Marquis Teague added 18 points and 8 rebounds off-the-bench, while Stephan Hicks notched 17 points and 6 rebounds.
The Warriors scored a season-high 40 points in the opening frame while shooting 53.8% from the field. Santa Cruz held the Mad Ants to 31% team shooting, and shut down action from beyond-the-arc as Fort Wayne went 0-of-7 from three.
Santa Cruz carried a 15-point lead into the second frame and extended their advantage to as many as 24 points, while maintaining a double-digit surplus until the break. The Warriors entered the locker room leading Fort Wayne 75-57 which topped their season-high for first-half points.
The Warriors would emerge from the locker room to continue their onslaught, blowing out their lead to as many as 32 points behind 72.7% team shooting.
Though the visitors were unable to put a dent in their deficit in the fourth, Fort Wayne outscored Santa Cruz 30-26 behind 14 points from Marquis Teague.
The Santa Cruz Warriors will travel to Des Moines to take on the Iowa Energy on Sunday, Mar. 12 at 2:00 p.m. PST at Wells Fargo Arena. Fans can catch the game the game on Facebook Live by visiting the Santa Cruz Warriors’ Facebook page at tip-off.
After the match-up in Iowa, the Warriors will head to Oklahoma City to take on the Blue on Mar. 14, before returning home for a weekend double-header against Texas. Tickets are still available to attend the game and can be purchased at the Santa Cruz Warriors’ headquarters at 903 Pacific Avenue, online at www.santacruzbasketball.com or over the phone at (831) 713-4400.