SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Warriors (23-17) defeated Raptors 905 (31-10) 128-122, snapping their nine-game win streak on Wednesday night in front of a twenty-sixth consecutive sellout crowd at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
The Warriors were paced by Phil Pressey who led all scorers with a double-double, notching 28 points and 11 assists. Cleanthony Early came off the bench to add 25 points off 9-of-12 shooting from the field and 6 rebounds. James Southerland added 24 points, while Damian Jones contributed 16 points and 5 assists.
E.J. Singler, Brady Heslip, and Axel Toupane each contributed 20 points for the 905. CJ Leslie notched a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Yanick Moreira also finished with a double-double, behind 16 points and 14 rebounds.
Raptors 905 got off to a hot start behind 73.3% team shooting and made all four of their attempts from beyond-the-arc in the opening frame. Santa Cruz matched 905’s offensive fervor on 61.9% team shooting, finishing the frame trailing by one point.
The second quarter was a tightly-contested battle that saw 7 lead changes and 6 ties with neither team leading by more than 6 points. Cleanthony Early and James Southerland combined for 21 points in the frame to give the Warriors a three-point lead heading into the locker room. All 10 Santa Cruz players that saw game action in the first half shot 50% or better from the field.
The third was the lowest-scoring frame for the Warriors, though the hosts would lead by as many as 10 points, good for the largest lead of the night for either team. Santa Cruz’s defense held the 905 to a 42.1% team shooting effort in the period, the lowest of the game for either team. A 14-5 run from the 905 in the final 4:46 would limit their deficit to 1 point heading into the final period.
A jump-shot from 905’s John Jordan would give the visitors their first fleeting lead of the second half. On the next possession, Cleanthony Early notched a fadeaway jump-shot, drew a foul, and completed the three-point play to tie the game at 116-all. Pressey scored the next 7 points for the Warriors, keeping the 905 at bay and securing the cushion needed to hold out for a hard-fought victory.
The Santa Cruz Warriors will host the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Friday, Mar. 10 at 7:00 p.m. PST at Kaiser Permanente Arena. 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. Fans can also catch the game on Facebook Live by visiting the Santa Cruz Warriors’ Facebook page at tip-off.