SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The Santa Cruz Warriors (17-12) defeated the Iowa Energy (7-22) 98-92 on Friday night in front of a twenty-first consecutive sellout crowd at Kaiser Permanente Arena. This victory marks Casey Hill’s 100th win as head coach of the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Phil Pressey led the Warriors with a triple-double, notching 20 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds. James Southerland contributed 18 points off 6-of-11 shooting from beyond-the-arc. LaDontae Henton added 13 points and 8 rebounds, while Alex Hamilton added 13 points off the bench. Chris Obekpa notched a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds.
The Energy was paced by Cartier Martin who led all scorers with 25 points and 4 rebounds. Jarell Martin contributed 24 points and 9 rebounds, while Wayne Seldon notched 11 points.
The Warriors outscored the Energy 25-17 in the first quarter, shooting 50% from the field to the Energy’s 28%, including a shutout from beyond-the-arc. Despite being outscored 10-2 in fast-break points, the Warriors were able to sustain an eight-point lead to end the quarter. The Energy received an explosive performance from Jarell Martin who scored 13 points, accounting for all but 4 of Iowa’s points in the opening frame.
The Warriors continued their 50% shooting effort through the second quarter, expanding their lead to as many as 16 points. The Energy were able to match the Warriors’ efforts, shooting 50% from the field and 50% from beyond-the-arc. Santa Cruz entered the break with a 55-44 lead.
Iowa opened the third quarter on a 15-3 run to lead for the first time since the opening minutes with 6:23 remaining in the period. The remainder of the frame saw 2 additional lead changes and 3 ties as both teams battled for the lead.
The final frame was a tightly-contested battle that saw the Warriors lead by as many as 9 points and the Energy lead by as many as 7 points. A three-pointer from LaDontae Henton with 5:20 remaining in regulation would give the Warriors a lead that would not be relinquished.
Upon clinching his 100th win as Santa Cruz Warriors head coach, Casey Hill reflected on the achievement but also acknowledged the importance of the season at hand:
“Winning 100 games feels great, and we came away with the win tonight which is what I was focused on. We won 17 games so far this season and getting to 100 wins in the regular season reminds me of the great players I’ve coached over my career here. It’s a good feeling to win this game.”
The Santa Cruz Warriors will travel to Prescott Valley to face the Northern Arizona Suns on tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. PST at the Prescott Valley Event Center. Fans can catch the game on Facebook Live, by visiting the Santa Cruz Warriors’ Facebook page at tip-off.