SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Warriors (26-19) defeated the Texas Legends (23-21) 135-121 on Saturday night in front of a twenty-ninth consecutive sellout crowd at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Seven players for Santa Cruz scored in double-figures en route to splitting the weekend back-to-back series.
The Warriors were paced by Jabari Brown who led all scorers with 26 points off the bench. Scott Wood contributed 18 points and 9 rebounds, while Alex Hamilton added 18 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds. James Southerland notched a double-double, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Damian Jones, on assignment from the Golden State Warriors, scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds for Santa Cruz while Kevon Looney, also on assignment from Golden State, notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Ben Gordon led the Legends with 25 points and 5 assists. Jameel Warney contributed 20 points and 9 rebounds, while Andre Dawkins came off the bench to add 17 points. Stephane Lasme notched a double-double for Texas, finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The opening frame was a tightly-contested battle that saw 6 ties and 6 lead changes with each team trading seven-point leads. The Legends notched a 62.5% team shooting effort behind double-digit scoring from Ben Gordon (12 points) and Jameel Warney (10 points) to hold a five-point advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Santa Cruz pulled ahead momentarily in the second and would keep the difference in single digits throughout the frame. The Legends would take a seven-point edge into the locker room, powered by Ben Gordon’s 20 first-half points.
The Legends opened their lead to 10 points in the early minutes of the third period, but the Warriors’ 14-5 run gave the hosts the lead that they would not relinquish. Santa Cruz outscored the Legends 37-22 in the third period behind a 61.9% team shooting effort. James Southerland led the Warriors with 15 points in the frame, making all three of his attempts from beyond-the-arc.
Santa Cruz blew out their advantage in the final frame to lead by as many as 22 points, despite Andre Dawkins’s final frame heroics which saw him notch 14 of the Legends’ 31 fourth-quarter points.
The Santa Cruz Warriors will travel to Hidalgo, Texas to take on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Tuesday, Mar. 21 at 5:00 p.m. PST at State Farm Arena. Fans can catch the game the game on Facebook Live by visiting the Santa Cruz Warriors’ Facebook page at tip-off.