In a tight game, fourth quarter efficiency proved pivotal as the Santa Cruz Warriors topped the Sioux Falls Skyforce 115-98 on Tuesday night at Kaiser Permanente Arena.

Before the final stages, the contest featured a Sioux Falls (13-4) surge to build a 16-point lead, a Santa Cruz (9-8) rally to tie at half and a gamble that backfired late in the third quarter.

Though not a game-deciding play, a full-court pass with 0.9 seconds left in the third quarter by the ‘Force looked to tie the game. Instead the toss went too far and Santa Cruz inbounded under their own basket and earned two free throws as a result to close the third quarter leading 81-77.

From there the Skyforce went cold offensively, hitting 5 of 17 shots in the final stanza and only grabbed one of their own misses while the Warriors hit 10 of 23 overall with 14 of their 34 points being second chance points.

For the first time this season, Luis Montero led the team in scoring with 19 points plus 9 rebounds. Keith Benson turned in another solid run with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks with Okaro White adding 15 points of his own.

Six Warriors finished in double figures with LaDontae Henton piling up 26 points, Phil Pressey off the bench with 18 tallies and a double-double for Dennis Clifford with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

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