Santa Cruz Warriors Defend Home Court Against Idaho Stampede


The Santa Cruz Warriors earned a 107-96 victory over the Idaho Stampede on Thursday night in Santa Cruz, CA.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.— The Santa Cruz Warriors continued their homestand on Thursday night as they welcomed in one of the top D-League prospects, Phil Pressey, and the Idaho Stampede. The Warriors gutted out a 107-96 victory, bringing their record to 17-28 on the season.

Xavier Henry finished with a team high 24 points, despite him seeing limited action due to a minutes restriction. Henry has been in and out of the lineup with a nagging injury. Nevertheless, he shot the ball well, going 7-for-12 from the field including 3-for-3 from behind the three-point arc.

“It felt good. It’s hard when you have a time limit to where you know you’re not playing over 20 minutes, so sometimes you’re rushing, sometimes you’re antsy,” Henry told reporters after the win, “You want to get everything in but I did a good job today of just calming myself down and taking what they gave me, and came out big for us and we won the game.”

Darrington Hobson had a big night as well putting in 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting with an impressive 3-of-4 from deep. Hobson came up big on the defensive end as well contributing two steals.

For Idaho, J.J. O’Brien was the game high leader in scoring putting in 26. Pressey, who is ranked 21st on on the D-League website for the top 25 call-up-eligible prospects list, finished the game with 17 points, 6 assists, and an impressive 6 steals.

The Warriors were very impressive on the defensive end of the floor. They finished the game with 12 steals, 7 blocked shots, but most impressively ran Idaho off the three point line very well. In the first half, the Warriors held the Stampede to a dismal 20% shooting from behind the arc.

Idaho finished the game shooting 23% from deep, and Coach Hill said it was a concerted effort to take away the deep ball.

“They’re a team (where) 27% of the points that they’ve scored all season have been from beyond the three point line. They are very focused on either scoring behind the arc or getting to the rim and finishing,” Coach Hill said, “That’s why you see them shooting a lot of free throws and their three point attempts are up. So yeah it was a focus to protect the three point line.”

With the defending champion Warriors mathematically eliminated from this years D-League post season, Thursday night’s game saw everyone wearing a Warriors jersey getting decent minutes. Rookie, Terrence Drisdom, played 16 minutes in the contest, the most he’s played since logging 29 in a win against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on February 23rd.

After Thursday’s victory, Coach Casey Hill talked about distributing the minutes more in this final stretch of games.

“Terrence Drisdom is a rookie and we got an opportunity to give him meaningful minutes and see if he can go have a good summer and come back and have a heck of a year. Tonight, he was a plus 24,” Coach told us post-game, “He did a great job defensively. I thought he picked his points offensively, but he did a great job. If you look at the minutes distribution it’s a lot more even.”

Thursday night marked the first game the Warriors would be without the help of Portland Trail Blazer assignee’s, Luis Montero and Cliff Alexander, who put up scoring numbers of 20 and 16 respectively in their final game (for now) in a Warriors jersey.

In their four games with the Sea Dubs, Montero averaged an impressive 16.3 points and 6 rebounds per game, while Alexander held averages of 15 points and 7.3 rebounds.

Golden State Warriors’ first-round draft pick, Kevon Looney was also absent from the Santa Cruz lineup, as he has spent the last few games with the Golden State Warriors. With just five games remaining in Santa Cruz’s season, it is tough to tell if he will be called back down, especially with the amount of injuries on the Golden State team.

“They got some guys that are beat up. He’s active and I think he’s working with Festus [Ezeli] so I think it might be close. [Santa Cruz] is here for Golden State to use however they want,” Coach Hill added, “And this specific year, they only have one guy that they really feel they need to assign and he’s playing a role for them right now.”

“As soon as that role diminishes and he’s just a rookie at the end of the bench, then he’ll be sent back down.”

Santa Cruz will be back on the hardwood to defend Kaiser Permanente Arena this coming Easter Sunday (3/27) as they welcome in the San Antonio Spurs affiliate, the Austin Spurs. Austin enters the contest with a record of 26-19, third in the Western Conference.