The Northern Arizona Suns had a chance to make a major move in the standings Sunday afternoon but they couldn’t take advantage, losing 122-112 to the Reno Bighorns at the Prescott Valley Event Center.
The Suns (20-23) entered the game trailing the fourth-seeded Bighorns (24-17) by 4.0 games in what is a scrum in the middle of the Western Conference standings. Reno held face, outshooting Northern Arizona 43-of-87 (.494) to 37-of-91 (.407) to move ahead by 5.0 games with seven left to play for NAZ. The Bighorns improved to 18-1 on the year when shooting better than 45.0 percent from the floor (6-16 otherwise). The Suns have now lost four straight following a four-game winning streak.
Archie Goodwin led NAZ with 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting (3-of-5 from distance), plus 8-of-9 from the charity stripe, to go with six rebounds. It was his 15th 20+ point game of the year, his 12th with the Suns.
Mike Young got his first start since Jan. 31. He recorded 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting, nine rebounds and four assists. It was his first 20+ point game since dropping 20 on Feb. 3 vs. Santa Cruz.
Josh Gray followed up his triple-double performance with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists. Xavier Silas notched 17 points with four three-pointers and four rebounds. Chris McCullough, who was assigned by the Washington Wizards today, earned eight rebounds, four rebounds and three assists.
Northern Arizona had a cold shooting first half, finishing with a 39.1 percent clip. However, the Suns were right in the game, trailing by just six at halftime. Reno had a quick 6-0 spurt to start the third to go up by 12, but Northern Arizona responded with an 8-0 run. It was a back-and-forth affair after that, but big shots by David Stockton powered Reno to the victory.
Stockton finished with 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-7 from deep, to go with five assists, four rebounds and two steals off the bench.
Jack Cooley was the workhorse today, earning 31 points on 12-of-19 shooting and 13 rebounds. It was his 16th double-double on the year.
Two other Bighorns scored 10+ points, as Aaron Harrison finished with 18 points and five rebounds, while JaKarr Sampson earned 16 points and six rebounds.
The Suns get a four-day break to regroup. They next play Salt Lake City on the road on Friday at 7 p.m. MT in their second to last game away from home on the season. The Bighorns also don’t play until Friday, when they’ll play the Austin Spurs on the road at 6:30 p.m. MT.