CEDAR PARK – Austin Spurs head coach Ken McDonald said during halftime that the team needed more consistency from its stars and from the defense.
The silver and black responded positively to the halftime speech, but ultimately lost in overtime to the Santa Cruz Warriors, 111-108.
Austin’s backcourt duo of Bryn Forbes and Dejounte Murray lit up the box score with their stellar play. Murray had 31 points and 12 rebounds in 43 minutes, while Forbes had 30 points and six rebounds. Cory Jefferson chipped in 19 points and seven rebounds.
For Santa Cruz, Phil Pressey torched the Spurs for 27 points on the afternoon. Dennis Clifford notched a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Alex Hamilton chipped in 19 points off the bench.
The Spurs started off strong in the first quarter, in spite of their poor shooting. Murray’s 10 first quarter points would give Austin a slim 23-22 lead after 12 minutes.
A trio of 3-pointers by the Warriors would spur an 11-0 for Santa Cruz and a double digit lead to start the second quarter. Once Austin regained a bit of momentum, Forbes and Murray would close out the quarter strong and head into halftime down just two points.
With Austin’s emphasis on limiting the amount of 30-point quarters teams have had on them this season, the Spurs still managed to let Santa Cruz score 33 points in the period. Luckily their own offensive explosion in the quarter kept them within striking distance.
Austin trailed the entire fourth quarter until back-to-back baskets from Jefferson gave the Spurs a slim lead with over five minutes remaining. Both teams exchanged scoring possessions down the stretch before heading to overtime tied at 100.
In overtime, Pressey would take over for the Warriors, scoring eight of Santa Cruz’s 11 points in the extra frame. Though Austin maintained a 2-point lead with less than 30 seconds left, Pressey would nail a long, off-balance 3-pointer to give Santa Cruz the lead, before the Warriors sealed the game with free throws.
With the loss, the Austin Spurs fall to 8-13 on the season and now embark on a three game road trip. They’ll take on the Salt Lake City Stars (5-15) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. from the Bruin Arena at Salt Lake City Community College.