Last night Santa Cruz Warriors head coach Nate Bjorkgren said, after a blow-out loss to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, that his team has come back and his team will comeback. It looks like he keeps his promises.
The Warriors(23-13) switched roles with the visiting Vipers(21-14) and used a first quarter blitz, in which they scored 40 points, to cruise to a 130-112 win.
The Warriors were a completely different team from last night committing only 17 turnovers, nine fewer than last night's 26.
"The lost hurt all of us," said Nate Bjorkgren. "I was pleased by the way we bounced back here today."
The game started off with a back-and-forth through the first seven minutes until Travis Leslie, who finished with seven points, hit a big three. The shot would be the beginning of a 13-0 Warriors run. The run put the W's up by 17 with 3:53 remaining in the first quarter.
The Warriors lead would be tested at the start of the third quarter. Glen Rice Jr., who had 21 points, attacked the hoop and finished through the contact for a chance at a 3-point play. He would hit the free throw and cut the lead to just seven points.
The Warriors answered with a quick jumper from Cam Jones and a free throw from Hilton Armstrong. The lead was back to 10 and the Warriors cruised the rest of the way.
"We just needed to keep concentrating on the defensive end," said Bjorkgren. "I didn't want to trade baskets with them. Great teams like that can get really hot, so we got a couple of stops when we needed and we hit a couple shots when we needed during that span as well."
Taylor Griffin lead the Warriors with 21 points and he also added eight rebounds. Griffin was still wearing a bandage over his left eyebrow that was covering up the 20 plus stitches he received in game one against the Vipers when he caught an elbow to the forehead. Dan Nwaelele was on fire again from 3-point land as he went 5-7 and finished with 20 points. Cam Jones had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and played just more than 41 minutes.
Tyler Honeycutt had a game high 25 points and 13 rebounds. Andrew Goudelock had another solid night from downtown hitting three 3-point shots, he had 23 points. Royce White had a dismal night only dropping in seven points and grabbing just two rebounds before receiving his second technical.
With the win the Warriors are only one game back of the Bakersfield Jam. The Warriors are now 4-1 in their eight game home stand, and they have a whole week off until the meet up with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. The Warriors series with Sioux Falls stands a one game a piece.