SANTA CRUZ, CA – The Santa Cruz Warriors (29-12) utilized a dominant third quarter to take down the Memphis Hustle (22-19) 114-93 at Kaiser Permanente Arena tonight. The game was a tale of two halves, as the Hustle controlled play in the first half before Santa Cruz held the Hustle to just 42 second half points to lead by as many as 26.
Warriors big man Deyonta Davis re-joined the team after a two game absence to secure 18 points and seven rebounds on an efficient 9-of-13 from the floor (69.2 percent FG) in just 20 minutes. Warriors two-way forward Marcus Derrickson matched Davis with 18 points on 7-of-8 from the field (87.5 percent shooting) to go with eight rebounds in 30 minutes. Guard Darius Morris scored six points with a season-high 13 assists, his fifth consecutive game leading the Sea Dubs in helpers.
The Hustle had four players in double digits tonight, with guard Jevon Carter’s game-high 22 points to go along with six assists. Guard Tarik Phillip ended the night with 14 points and 10 rebounds, the only Memphis player to finish with a double-double, and center Doral Moore finished with 11 points (4-7 FG) and nine rebounds with three blocks.
Hustle guard Tarik Phillip scored ten of the team’s first 16 points, with Memphis using a 13-2 run to take a 29-22 first quarter lead over the Sea Dubs. Warriors guard Darius Morris led the team with five assists in the first quarter, and center Deyonta Davis kept the team within reach with six points, including a one-handed alley-oop from Morris.
The second quarter saw both teams shoot 57.1 percent from three (4-of-7 3FG), with Kendrick Nunn’s 10 points (2-of-2 from three) bringing the first half deficit to one score, 53-51.
Santa Cruz opened the second half with a 26-5 run to build a 19-point lead, with eight of those points coming from a streaking Davis. The stifling Warriors defense held Memphis to 17 third quarter points on 6-of-21 shooting from the floor (28.6 percent FG).
Santa Cruz continued the streak with a 14-3 run to start the fourth quarter, with eight of those points coming from Cleveland, including a flashy transition alley-oop from Morris. The Warriors are now 15-2 this season when holding their opponents under 100 points, and 11-1 when shooting over 50.0 percent from the floor (54.9 percent FG tonight).