Manny Harris of D-Fenders scores 41 points.
The Warriors fell to the Los Angeles D-Fenders 118-124 Saturday night after falling behind by a large margin in the early going.
The Santa Cruz squad gave up 45 points in the first quarter to the D-Fenders, a franchise high, and trailed by as many as 28 points after the first frame. Manny Harris, acquired from the Canton Charge in a trade last week, scored 16 of his game-high 41 points in the first quarter to help pace the D-Fenders, the most by a single opponent against the Santa Cruz Warriors in franchise history.
The Warriors played catch-up the rest of the game, closing the deficit at halftime trailing 53-72. The play of Kevin Kotzur helped ignite the Warriors in the second half as he scored 10 points and tallied 7 boards in the third. He finished with a double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds for the contest. They remained behind 87-95 before the fourth quarter began.
With 7:39 left in the final frame the Warriors gained control of the game for the very first time as they led 98-97 on a Seth Curry layup.
The D-Fenders trailed 105-102 with a little more than five minutes remaining in the ballgame as Jamario Moon took over on offense.
Moon nailed three consecutive three-pointers to keep the D-Fenders in the game. He finished with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
The Warriors tied the game 116-116 with 1:03 remaining in the final quarter on a Daniel Nwaelele jump shot. Nwaelele led the team in scoring along with Cameron Jones. Both scored 23 points for the Sea Dubs.
A Brandon Costner three-pointer put the game out-of-reach for the Warriors as they resorted to intentional fouling late. The D-Fenders sank all their free-throws down the stretch, shutting the door on a Warriors comeback once and for all.
Seth Curry scored 22 points to go along with four assists for the Warriors. Dewayne Dedmon logged another double-double with 11 points and 17 rebounds.
The Warriors won the rebound battle against the D-Fenders (55-42) while turning the ball-over more (23-17).
The Warriors finish their road-trip tomorrow against the D-Fenders. Tipoff is at 5 p.m. They return home on Tuesday to take on the Bakersfield Jam during Salvation Army night. The Warriors will wear red uniforms which will be auctioned off during the game.