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Warriors Down Skyforce

The Warriors end the game on a 23-4 run to close out the Skyforce

The Santa Cruz Warriors survived their own sloppy play through the first three quarters, where they commited 16 turnovers, to cruise to a 86-64 win over the visiting Sioux Falls Skyforce.

The Warriors(24-13) finished the game by putting the clamps on the Skyforce(21-18) offense and attacking their defense with a emphatic 23-4 run. 

"We kept getting more and more active there," said Warriors head coach Nate Bjorkgren. "We were feeding off our energy, the crowds energy and getting our hands in the passing lanes."

The fourth-quarter explosion was sparked by Lance Goulbourne, who finished with nine big points and four rebounds.

He started the run with a powerful drive in which he finished through contact for the 3-point play opportunity. He would cash in and give the Warriors a 66-60 point lead with 9:23 left to play. On the next offensive possession Lance Goulbourne skied over defenders for a nasty put-back slam. 

The Warrior's defense continued their aggressive play as Mickell Gladness rejected a Damian Suanders shot that started a Warrior's fast-break. Cam Jones ran the floor in transition and set up just in front of the 3-point line where Dan Nwaelele found him for a big jumper to push the Warrior's lead to 10. 

"There was a number of guys that I thought did some nice things(in the absence of Travis Leslie who sat out the game because of personal reasons)," said Bjorkgren. "I thought that Mickell Gladness protected the rim well, and Lance Goulbourne came in and gave us some good minutes."

Both Cam Jones and Hilton Armstrong lead the Warriors with 16 points on the night. Taylor Griffin chipped in 12 points and added eight rebounds. Darington Hobson had an impressive 14 rebounds. 

It was a tough night for the Skyforce as they shot 24.7 percent from the field and went 0-23 from three. Jarvis Varnado was on assignment from the Miami Heat and he notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Demetris Nichols and Seth Tarver both finished with 13 points. 

This win pushes the Warriors to 5-1 in this eight-game home stand, they stand 14-2 overall at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Warriors are now a game and a half back of the Bakersfield Jam for first place in the West Division. 

Notes: Travis Leslie, who is expected to sign a contract with the Utah Jazz, sat out and Bjorkgren said he had "no comment" on the matter ... The newest addition Scott Machado did not play, but was dressed. He was going through a vigorous shooting routine after the game.  

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