DES MOINES, Iowa – The Santa Cruz Warriors (25-17) defeated the Iowa Energy (11-30) 111-108 on Sunday night at Wells Fargo Arena. Six players for the Warriors scored in double-figures, en route to notching a sixth straight victory.
The Warriors were paced by Scott Wood who scored 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-6 from deep. Phil Pressey notched a double-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. James Southerland added 18 points and 5 rebounds, while Cleanthony Early scored 15 points off-the-bench for Santa Cruz.
Terry Whisnant came off the bench to lead the Energy with a double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Jarell Martin, Deyonta Davis, and JaKarr Sampson each scored 16 points for Iowa, while Wade Baldwin IV added 15 points.
The Warriors got off to a hot start in the opening period, shooting 65% from the field, including an 11-point performance by James Southerland off 4-of-6 shooting. Santa Cruz led by as many as 14 points, though Iowa would go on a 12-3 run in the final 1:24 of the opening frame to come within 5 points of the visitors.
The Energy limited their deficit to 1 point off of a layup from Quinton Chievous, but the Warriors would respond with a 15-2 run, to lead the hosts by as many as 16 points in the period. Santa Cruz’s defense held Iowa to a 28.6% team shooting effort in the quarter and carried a 14-point cushion into the break.
The third quarter would see the Energy chip away at the visitors’ lead to come as close as 10 points, but the Warriors were able to secure a 90-78 lead to start the fourth.
Iowa opened the final frame outscoring the Warriors 15-2 to take the lead at the 7:25 mark for the first time since the opening minutes of the game. Down four with 11.3 seconds remaining, Terry Whisnant knocked down three free throws to will a one-point deficit, with the score standing at 108-107. A quick dunk by the Warriors’ Cleanthony Early gave the Energy one last possession, but a turnover sealed their fate as they were unable to get a shot off en route to a fifth straight home loss.