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NAZ Suns Break Franchise Point Record In Close Win

10 November 2017
Photo Courtesy: Matt Hinshaw/NAZ Suns
Northern Arizona Suns Score A Franchise-Record 141 Points but Turnovers Make It A Close Game In The Win

PRESCOTT VALLEY- The Northern Arizona Suns put on a show Thursday night, November 10th, against the Iowa Wolves at the Prescott Valley Event Center with a franchise-record 141 points. However, even with the record point performance, the NAZ Suns had to battle until the last second in a 141-140 win.

“We are dedicated to playing a certain way, through the good and the bad,” said Northern Arizona Suns Head Coach Cody Toppert speaking of the team’s franchise-record 28 turnovers that led to 29 Iowa points. “We’re going to have our growing pains….we value a few more possessions and we’ve got 160 points on the board. If we just tighten up a little bit at the end of shot clocks, do away with needless fouls, I think that we are in a better position to make this a more comfortable situation in a win for us.”

Both teams were draining baskets all night long. Each team had over 30 points in every quarter and the game was tied ten times with 14 lead changes. 

In the first frame, the Northern Arizona Suns grabbed a 35-31 advantage. However, the NAZ Suns would struggle to start the second quarter as Iowa opened with a 7-2 run to grab the lead.

The Wolves would keep the lead but only by two points heading into halftime.

“I just told our guys we need to weather the storm,” Toppert said. “We knew somebody was going to throw a punch, it’s about how you respond. It’s not just about getting your head down, we are on to the next play.”

Coming out of the break, the Northern Arizona Suns were steady and productive on the glass, scoring 38 points in each of the final two quarters. Meanwhile, Iowa countered with a 36-point third quarter and a 37-point fourth quarter.

With only a minute remaining on the clock and Iowa down by two points, the Wolves made four fouls in an attempt to pull out the win but the Northern Arizona Suns drained five of seven free throws to secure the victory.

Fouls were an issue for both sides throughout the entire game, not just the last few seconds, as the two squads combined for 72 fouls.

“It had a big impact on the flow of the game, stoppage,” NAZ Suns Guard Askia Booker said. “It felt like we were out there for three hours almost but that is part of the game. We have to stay on our toes and prepare for the next play.”

Booker led the NAZ Suns with a personal-record 36 points while Xavier Silas added 33 points. Derrick Jones Jr., who is on assignment from the Phoenix Suns and made his return to the Prescott Valley Event Center where he played 19 games in the 2016-2017 season, finished with 11 points.

Melo Tremble paced the Iowa offense with 37 points and Marcus Georges-Hunt, who is on assignment from the Minnesota Timberwolves, added 34 points.

In addition, Elijah Millsap and Michael Bryson made their return to the Prescott Valley Event Center on Thursday night with the Iowa Wolves after an offseason trade that netted the NAZ Suns the #1 overall pick in the G-League draft, which the NAZ Suns used to draft Eric Stuteville. Millsap finished with 24 points while Bryson didn’t play.

The NAZ Suns look to clean up the mistakes before the two teams rematch on Saturday night.

“There was a lot of good stuff we did, but I think there was more negative than positive at the end of the day,” Booker said. “We had a lot of turnovers, we didn’t have a lot of assists and we for sure need to rebound. I think if we clean the rebounds and the turnovers, we will give ourselves a better chance to win coming Saturday.”

Individuals who missed the point show on Thursday have another chance on Saturday, November 11th, as the Iowa Wolves and Northern Arizona Suns rematch at the Prescott Valley Event Center at 7:00 pm. The game will also be the NAZ Suns’ second annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night and the team will be wearing pink jerseys that will be up for auction at the end of the game to benefit breast cancer awareness.

People who are interested in attending the game can buy tickets at the door, or purchase them online.

Saturday, November 11th against Iowa Wolves at 7:00pm
Thursday, November 16th against Long Island Nets at 6:30pm
Tuesday, November 21st against Austin Spurs at 6:30pm.

All Photos by Matt Hinshaw @ Hinshaw Photography unless noted otherwise. | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 


Torrence Dunham

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