SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Warriors (29-11) topped the Memphis Hustle (22-19), 114-93, on Friday night in Kaiser Permanente Arena. Memphis is now tied with the Agua Caliente Clippers for the sixth spot in the Western Conference Playoffs. The Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the season series.
After the Hustle led by two at halftime, the Warriors pulled away in the second half, opening the third quarter with a 26-5 run to race out to a 77-60 lead. Santa Cruz shot over 62 percent overall in the third quarter to take an 85-70 lead into the final period. The Warriors shot 29-for-48 (.604) from the floor and outscored the Hustle 50-18 in the paint during the second half to maintain their lead.
Jevon Carter led Memphis with 22 points and six assists. Carter has now scored 22 points in back-to-back games. Tarik Phillip recorded his third double-double in the last six games, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while handing out four assists. Dusty Hannahs added 12 points off the bench. Hannahs is averaging 16.2 points in his last five games. Doral Moore finished just shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine boards while also blocking three shots. Jay-R Strowbridge hit a three-pointer with 18.5 seconds left in the game to score his first points in a Hustle uniform.
The Hustle closed the first quarter with a 13-2 run over the last 2:46 to give them their first lead of the game, taking a 29-22 advantage into the second quarter. Memphis committed more turnovers than Santa Cruz in the first half (9-6), but the Hustle had more points off turnovers, scoring nine while the Warriors had seven to hang on to a 53-51 lead at halftime.
Marcus Derrickson (18 points, eight rebounds) and Deyonta Davis (18 points, seven rebounds) led the way for the Warriors. Darius Morris passed out a game-high 13 assists to go with six points. Kendrick Nunn added 17 points off the bench while Jacob Evans finished with 14 points on 6-of-8 (.750) shooting.
The Hustle will stay in California to take on the Stockton Kings on Sunday, March 3 in Stockton Arena at 3 p.m. CT, and can be viewed on Facebook Live. The team will return to Landers Center on Friday, March 8 for a rematch with the Warriors at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available starting at $10 each and fans wishing to attend can purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com, the Landers Center Box Office, online at MemphisHustle.com or by calling (901) 888-HOOP