SANTA CRUZ, CA – The Santa Cruz Warriors (20-18) beat the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (12-26) 130-128 Friday night at Kaiser Permanente Arena on a game-winning three-pointer from Jeremy Pargo with 0.9 seconds remaining, capping a 24-point comeback.
The Vipers led by 24 points in the second quarter and held a 16-point lead entering the half before the Warriors began to chip away in the second half and cut the lead to 10 points entering the final frame. Zach Norvell tied the game at 110 apiece on a three-pointer with 8:22 to play, but the Warriors were unable to take the lead and Rio Grande held a six-point advantage with 2:35 left.
Santa Cruz went on an 8-2 run to tie the score at 126 on an Andrew Harrison three-pointer with 58.6 seconds left, but Sindarius Thornwell answered right back with an uncontested layup for the Vipers. Jonathan Simmons hit a free throw to cut the Warriors deficit to 128-127, setting the stage for Pargo’s game-winner at the top of the key.
Pargo led the Warriors with 28 points, one of four Warriors starters to score at least 20 points. Deyonta Davis finished with his eighth straight double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds. In his first home game with Santa Cruz, Simmons ended the night with 24 points and seven rebounds.
Isaiah Taylor scored 28 points for the Vipers while fellow guard and Houston Rockets assignee Chris Clemons finished with 25 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Isaiah Hartenstein, also on assignment from Houston, led the Vipers with 31 points to go along with 11 rebounds in 33 minutes.
Santa Cruz leads the season series with Rio Grande, 3-0, with the final matchup of the season coming on March 21 at Kaiser Permanente Arena.