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Santa Cruz Claims Series Opener over Iowa

By Iowa Wolves Staff /March 18, 2023

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Warriors claimed the back-and-forth series opener over the Iowa Wolves winning 127-119 on Friday night in NBA G League action at Kaiser Permanente Arena.

Santa Cruz (15-13) and Iowa (8-21) battled in the first game between the teams this season as there were 13 lead changes and 10 score ties. The Wolves built a 16-point lead in the opening quarter fueled by making 9-of-16 threes as Craig Randall had 12 points and Matt Lewis and Emmanuel Mudiay each scored nine points. 

Trailing 43-29, the Warriors battled back in the contest in the second quarter, outscoring Iowa, 36-18, to lead by four (65-61) at the break. Iowa regrouped in the third taking a 93-92 lead into the fourth quarter. After being held without a three in the second, the Wolves knocked down six in the third, the last by Jordan Bohannon, who made three in the quarter. 

Santa Cruz shot a blistering 72.2 percent (13-of-18) from the floor in the fourth, scoring 35 points while holding Iowa to 26 points. Iowa made just 3-for-16 from three in the final quarter. 

Craig Randall II led Iowa in scoring for the sixth-straight game with 26 points on Friday night. Lewis and Mudiay scored 23 and 22 points, respectively. 

Simi Shittu and Jordy Tshimanga each posted double-doubles. Shittu had 16 points and 14 rebounds while Tshimanga had 16 points and 18 rebounds. Bohannon finished with 12 points. 

The teams wrap up the back-to-back Saturday night at 9 p.m. CT inside Kaiser Permanente Arena. Saturday will be the Wolves’ road finale as they return to Wells Fargo Arena to finish the regular season with Birmingham visiting on March 22 and Lakeland on March 25. Both games start at 7 p.m. CT.