Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kuzmic dominates, Santa Cruz stuns RGV in game one with blowout victory

Ognjen Kuzmic slams home the putback dunk for the Warriors.  He tallied 23 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks while shooting 11-14 from the field. 

The Santa Cruz Warriors wasted no time getting themselves into any holes this time.  After having to come from behind in their first-round home playoff game, the Sea Dubs jumped out to a 30-13 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.  They led by 18 after the first, 21 at halftime, 20 after three, and the final score was 135-104.

The Warriors were in control from the beginning thanks to solid efforts up and down their roster.  Cam Jones led Santa Cruz with 24 points.  Seth Curry had 22 and Lance Goulbourne had 14 points and 18 rebounds.  Mychel Thompson scored 13 points to go along with five steals and two blocks.  Stephon Hannah had 15 and Daniel Nwaelele had 10.

Santa Cruz shot 52% and held RGV to 42% shooting.  The Vipers' normally potent three-point attack was held to a subpar 28% while the Warriors shot 33% from behind the arc.

Santa Cruz will head to Rio Grande Valley to play out the rest of the series.  Game two is Saturday night.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Curry's career night fuels game one comeback win for Santa Cruz

Seth Curry had a franchise record 44 points, Cam Jones had 30, and the Santa Cruz Warriors came from behind to defeat the L.A. D-Fenders 140-127 in the highest scoring game of the year for the Sea Dubs.

Curry needed just 20 shots to reach his career-high of 44 points.  He shot 9-14 on threes and chipped in seven assists as well.  Lance Goulbourne had another huge double-double with 19 points and 18 rebounds.  Ognjen Kuzmic, on assignment from Golden State, also played well.  He registered 15 points and ten rebounds, seven of them on the offensive glass.

Seth Curry gets free on a Lance Goulbourne screen.  Curry drained nine threes in the game.

Santa Cruz was fighting an uphill battle all game after getting behind by a score of 11-2 after just over three minutes of play.  Curry hit three quick shots and the Warriors were back in the game.  They teams were tied at 26 before L.A. started pulling away.  Santa Cruz faced a 59-71 deficit at the half after allowing 19 second chance points and 46 points in the paint.

At halftime, Coach Casey Hill emphasized getting back in transition and not allowing offensive rebounds.  The team responded with greater energy on the boards and Curry continued to score at will from anywhere on the court.  The game was tied at 114 with 6:57 left in the game before Cam Jones hit a pair of free throws and a driving layup to put the Warriors up for good.

Cam Jones gets to the hoop for two during the Warriors' second-half run.  
Hill praised his team's overall effort after the game, but also had the opportunity to talk a little bit about Curry's performance.

"He'll do that every once in awhile in practice, gets in one of those zones where he doesn't miss, so we've all seen it before," Hill said. "But for him to do it at such an important point in our season, it's huge.  He's grown a lot."

Seth said he ranks this game right at the top of his all-time best games, especially since the Warriors needed his production so badly against such a potent offense.

"It's at the top," he explained, "especially because it's a playoff game.  We needed all of them.  We were down early and had to fight in the second half."

"It feels good (to get the win).  We did what we were supposed to do, take care of winning at home.  We just have to go out there with the same mindset and try to win the next game."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Warriors split home doubleheader with Iowa Energy

The Warriors defeated the Iowa Energy 129-119 on Friday at Kaiser Permanente Arena before falling to them one night later, 133-120.  Santa Cruz currently occupies the fifth seed in the playoff race and is 1.5 games behind Los Angeles for the division lead.  With just seven games left in the season and two against Los Angeles, the Warriors are looking to make a push for the division title.

Seth Curry dropped in 30 points on Friday and followed that up with another 20 on Saturday.
Nemanja Nedovic, on assignment from Golden State, played well for Santa Cruz.  He had 17 points, five assists and three steals on Friday.  He led the team with 22 on Saturday. 

Joe Alexander had a huge game on Friday night, dropping in 24 points and grabbing eleven rebounds.  He sat out Saturday's game. 

Fan favorite Kiwi Gardner goes to the hoop on Friday.  Kiwi had 16 points, five assists, and five steals  in twenty minutes on Saturday.
The Santa Cruz Warriors participated in the Save Our Shores beach cleanup this past Saturday.  Here, Seth Curry takes a photo with a young admirer while Coach Hill looks on.
Kiwi Gardner helps clean up Seabright Beach.  Over 130 pounds of trash were collected in just one hour!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Warriors win back-to-back games, look to make playoff push

The Santa Cruz Warriors beat the Delaware 87ers 116-95 on Friday night then won again on Saturday, defeating the Bakersfield Jam 98-92.  Cam Jones led the Sea Dubs in scoring both nights, notching 20 points against Delaware and 26 against Bakersfield.  

Cam Jones finds his way to the basket yet again.
"The team responds to effort plays that I make or somebody else makes," Jones said when asked about his leadership role on the team.  "If I see the team is going a little downhill, I try to do something special to make us all play harder."  

Coach Hill raved about Jones' leadership after the game on Saturday.  "He's absolutely stepped up, he's taken his role as seriously as he possibly can, and he's done a phenomenal job.  I couldn't be happier to have him on the team."

The wins brought the Warriors' record to 23-17, good for the eighth and final seed in the playoff picture.  However, the team is only 1.5 games back in their division.  With the playoff race in such close contention, Coach Hill is confident that Santa Cruz can make a solid push and move up in the standings.  "I want first place in our division," he said, but acknowledged that once the playoffs begin, "all bets are off."  

Coach Hill also spoke about what the team is concentrating on during this playoff push. 

"Right now, our focus is on the team.  If we can get our leaders in position to push us in the right direction, we'll be in good shape,"  he said.  His personal focus? "To keep our defense as good as it can possibly be."

Daniel Nwaelele had 19 points, four assists, and two steals against Delaware.
Joe Alexander hits a jumper for Santa Cruz.  He had 17 points and 8 rebounds against Delaware. 
Alexander goes up for a big dunk against Bakersfield.  He finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Lance Goulbourne, a recent addition to Santa Cruz's roster, throws down the dunk against Bakersfield.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Springfield Armor sweep Santa Cruz

The Springfield Armor beat Santa Cruz twice in two nights this weekend at Kaiser Permanente Arena.  The Warriors struggled to find their shooting touch, shooting a combined 34.7% from the field for the doubleheader.  Santa Cruz (18-14) has dropped to the eighth and final playoff spot in the West Division.

Ognjen Kuzmic continues to play for Santa Cruz on assignment from the Golden State Warriors.  It looks as if he'll be joining the Sea Dubs on their upcoming road trip.  
 On Friday, the Warriors went just 1-22 from the three-point line during their 94-80 loss, a dismal 4.5%.  Santa Cruz actually won the rebounding battle and the teams were even on turnovers.  The differences in field goal percentages were too much to overcome.  Hilton Armstrong led the team with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Seth Curry converts the breakaway lay-in.  He finished with 21 points and five assists.
Saturday was much of the same, shooting 20% from deep en route to a 97-80 loss.  Seth Curry led the Warriors with 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting.  The Sea Dubs are embarking on a six-game road trip and will not be back in Santa Cruz until March 7.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the 1,000 dollar shooter finally making the half-court shot for the first time all season!
In other Warriors news, center Hilton Armstrong was called up by Golden State today.  He signed a ten-day contract and is Santa Cruz's fifth NBA Call-Up of the season.  The Santa Cruz Warriors have re-acquired guard Moe Baker now that Armstrong's roster spot opened up.  Baker has played in 15 games this year for Santa Cruz.    

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Warriors take sole possession of the West going in to All-Star break

With a 100-98 victory over the Idaho Stampede Tuesday night the Warriors have taken over first place in the West Division of the NBA D-League.  Santa Cruz improved its overall record to 18-12 headed into the All-Star Break.

Tuesday night was Tye-Dye night at the Kaiser Permanente Arena.  Everyone in attendance received a tye-dye towel and the uniforms worn in the game were auctioned off to fans.  Ognjen Kuzmic, MarShon Brooks, and Kent Bazemore were in Santa Cruz on assignment from the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors started out hot, building a 43-30 lead in the second quarter behind thirteen points from Seth Curry, who finished with 28 on the night.  The Stampede were able to take a 55-52 lead going in to halftime after a 10-0 run to end the quarter.  The Warriors played from behind most of the second half but evened the game up at 93 off a basket by Curry with 3:24 left in the game.  A minute later, Curry hit a corner three to give Santa Cruz the lead for good.  Free throws by Bazemore and Cam Jones iced the game.

Curry hit six threes on his way to a team-high 28 points against Idaho.

MarShon Brooks scored 18 points and shot 7-9 from the
floor while on assignment from Golden State.
Kent Bazemore had 13 points and hit a few key free throws late
in the game while on assignment from Golden State.

Hilton Armstrong contributed 11 points, four rebounds and a
block on Tuesday.
Ognjen Kuzmic had five points and five rebounds for Santa Cruz
while on assignment from Golden State.

Monday, February 10, 2014

D-Fenders Defeat Santa Cruz 121-107 behind Harris' 56

D-League standout Manny Harris netted a Warriors-opponent record 56 points Saturday night to help the Los Angeles D-Fenders defeat the Dubs.  Harris also pulled down 15 boards and dished out four assists in his first game back after spending some time with the Lakers.

Santa Cruz had trouble taking care of the ball (16 turnovers to L.A.'s six) and rebounding (allowing 22 offensive rebounds) while shooting just 5-27 (18%) from long range.  Cam Jones led the Sea Dubs with 26 points.  Dominic McGuire chipped in a nice all-around effort with 15 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and five blocks.

The two teams meet again tonight in Los Angeles.  They're locked in a battle for playoff position with Reno and Idaho in the West Division, easily the most competitive in the league.  L.A. currently holds the lead at 17-11, Reno is second at 17-12, then Santa Cruz at 16-12 and Idaho at 17-13.

Santa Cruz will host Idaho on Tuesday at Kaiser Permanente Arena.  The Warriors will be wearing special tye-dye uniforms and everyone in attendance will receive a tie-dye towel.

Cam Jones paced the Dubs with 26 points Saturday night. 

Daniel Nwaelele hits the nice step-back jumper.  He finished with 12 points and seven boards.

Joe Alexander showing off some of his athleticism while throwing down this contested alley-oop.