PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns started their season on Saturday with a high-scoring affair against the Agua Caliente Clippers, but compared to Thursday’s game against the Iowa Wolves, that was just an appetizer.
The Suns and Wolves each scored 30+ points in every quarter of this one, with the Suns taking it in a high-scoring thriller 141-140 at the Prescott Valley Event Center.
The 141 points for Northern Arizona marked the most points the Suns have scored in team history, besting their 135 points at the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Nov. 23, 2016, in a double-overtime loss.
In a back-and-forth contest with 14 lead changes and 10 ties, both teams shot the ball well, but both teams didn’t handle it particularly well either. The Suns finished shooting 44-of-85 (.518) from the field, compared to the Wolves’ 47-of-93 (.505) clip. The Suns set a new franchise high with 28 turnovers, which led to 29 points for Iowa. The Wolves turned it over 18 times, leading to 19 points for the Suns.
Askia Booker set a new career-high, scoring 36 points on 11-of-17 shooting, including 6-of-11 from beyond the arc and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. He added five rebounds to his total. Booker had scored 35 points in that double-overtime game in Los Angeles last year.
The Colorado alum was hot right out of the gate, making three three-pointers in the first quarter, finishing the frame with 14 points. By halftime he had already achieved his 21st 20+ point game of his NBA G League career.
Xavier Silas took over in the second half, scoring 13 points in the third quarter and 13 points in the fourth quarter. He finished with 33 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-7 from the three-point line and 13-of-14 from the free throw line. He also tallied seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Tonight marked his fourth 30+ point game of his career.
Josh Gray came off the bench in this one following his 30-point game in the season opener. He tallied 20 points and three assists. Anthony Bennett (14 points and nine rebounds) had a quality game, while Alec Peters recorded the first Northern Arizona Suns double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Derrick Jones Jr., on assignment from the Phoenix Suns, notched 11 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Iowa’s Melo Trimble led all scorers with 37 points on 10-of-22 shooting, plus 14-of-15 shooting from the free throw line. He added a game-high eight assists too.
Marcus Georges-Hunt, on assignment from the Minnesota Timberwolves, came off the bench to record 34 points on 10-of-16 shooting, plus a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line, four rebounds and three steals in 40 minutes. Amile Jefferson had a monster game with 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting, 12 rebounds and seven steals, while Elijah Millsap made his return to Prescott Valley to tally 24 points, five rebounds and four assists.
These two teams square off again on Saturday at 7 p.m., as the Suns host their Breast Cancer Awareness Night. Northern Arizona will be wearing specialty pink jerseys for the game that will go up for auction immediately following the game to benefit breast cancer awareness programs in the community.