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Santa Cruz Takes Series over Iowa

By Iowa Wolves Staff /February 11, 2024

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Warriors edged the Iowa Wolves, 116-114, on Saturday night at Kaiser Permanente Arena. 

The leading scorer for Iowa (4-15) was D.J. Carton who returned after missing the past four games due to injury. Carton scored 24 points to go with four rebounds and four assists. Iowa had three players post double-doubles with Leonard Miller scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, Tyrese Martin had 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds and Nojel Eastern tallying 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Santa Cruz (11-7) was led by Donovan Williams who had 23 points. Javan Johnson was next with 21 points coming off a career-high seven three-pointers.

After a back-and-forth first two quarters, Iowa built a 13-point lead in the third. Santa Cruz stormed back with a 16-2 scoring stretch that carried into the fourth quarter as Williams’ layup gave the Warriors the lead at 91-90. The Wolves couldn’t slow Santa Cruz who later led by nine with just more than three minutes to go.

Iowa mounted one final comeback attempt as they had the basketball down 116-114 after a flagrant was called on Williams with just one second left and Martin knocked made all three throws. But Jackson Rowe picked off the inbounds pass from Javonte Cooke. Cooke finished with 17 points and a career-high 11 assists.

Next up for Iowa is a game at the Rip City Remix, who are in their first year as the new affiliate of the Portland Trail Blazers, on Tuesday at 9 p.m. CT. It will be Iowa’s final game before the all-star break. 

Iowa returns from the break on Friday, Feb. 23 when it hosts the Rio Grande Valley Vipers for Timberwolves Day. Tipoff at Wells Fargo Arena is set for 7 p.m. CT. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Naz Reid Iowa/Minnesota co-branded t-shirt.