SALT LAKE CITY (March 29, 2022) –Kendall Smith tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and 14 assists, including the game-winning layup in overtime as the Santa Cruz Warriors stunned the Salt Lake City Stars with a 118-115 victory at Bruin Arena on Tuesday night.
The Stars struggled to contain the Warriors in the first half as Santa Cruz shot a blistering 67.5 percent from the field. The 77 first half points given up by the Stars was a season high.
Despite trailing 77-59 at the half, the Stars never lost focus and opened the third quarter with a 12-4 run that snowballed into the best defensive quarter of the season for the Stars, as the home team only gave up 11 points in the third period and outscored the Warriors 33-11 in the frame.
The Stars, who trailed by as many as 22 points, led 92-88 to start the fourth quarter. Salt Lake City built their lead to 13 following a reverse layup by Gerard Tarin, who finished the night with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Following a timeout, the Warriors went on a 14-2 run to tie the game at 112-112, eventually leading to a 115-115 tie at the end of regulation.
The teams traded turnovers and a pair of missed shots to start the overtime period, but Smith’s cutting layup with 52.6 seconds left to play gave the Warriors a 117-115 lead and proved to be the difference-maker.
Carsen Edwards led all scoring with 38 points to go along with six assists and three steals. Edwards came into Tuesday night’s contest needing 31 points to pass Durrell Summers (800) for fifth on the Stars all-time scoring list. Edwards (808) now needs 5 points to pass Justin Holiday (812) for fourth on the list.
Marques Bolden proved to be a problem for the Warriors as the former Duke Blue Devil scored 18 points along with 13 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Jared Wilson-Frame contributed 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Pe’Shon Howard gave the Stars 14 points and five rebounds off the bench.
L.J. Figueroa led the way for the Warriors with 24 points and five rebounds. Eli Pemberton and Kalob Ledoux each scored 21 points for the Warriors. Pemberton was able to add eight rebounds, five assists and three steals and Ledoux added six rebounds.
Warriors big man Selom Mawugbe added 10 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks, while Ryan Taylor added 15 points off the bench for Santa Cruz.
The Stars will look to bounce back on Friday, April 1, as they host the Texas Legends at Vivint Arena in downtown Salt Lake City. The Stars will wear their hardwood classic Utah Stars jerseys from the 19070s to honor the 1971 ABA Champion Stars.