ONTARIO, Calif. – It was just how they drew it up.
The Northern Arizona Suns had great offense, great rebounding and great defense, marking a classic all-around game on Thursday night in their drubbing of the Agua Caliente Clippers 117-88. The Suns improved to 8-20 and 5-8 on the road with their win at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California, while the Clippers dropped below .500 to 13-14.
It was a night to remember for the Suns as they enjoyed several all-time numbers. This marked Northern Arizona’s largest win of the year at 29 points, surpassing their 17-point victory on Nov. 17 vs. Rio Grande Valley. The Suns also had their largest lead of the season in this one at 33 points.
The Suns made 48-of-84 (.571) shots, their best shooting mark of the year and their second best in team history. They made 13-of-24 (.542) from distance, their best three-point percentage of the year and tied for their third best in team history. The Suns allowed 88 points by the Clippers, an opponent season-low. The Clippers made 31-of-97 (.320) from the field, the lowest percentage allowed by the Suns in team history. That included a 6-of-36 (.167) three-point mark, tied for the lowest three-point percentage NAZ has allowed in team history.
The Suns outrebounded the Clippers 51-40 and outscored them in the paint 68-44, dishing out 27 assists to 18 by ACC. The only knock on the Suns in this one was they turned it over 24 times that led to 23 points.
The first quarter foreshadowed the rest of the game, as the Suns made 15-of-22 (.682) from the field to take a 32-24 lead after one. The Suns exploded in the second quarter, taking a 24-point lead at halftime, 69-45, a lead that would not fall below 16 the remainder of the game.
Ike Nwamu scored a season-high 29 points off the bench on 10-of-13 (.769) shooting, including 5-of-7 from downtown, to go with a tied-season-high seven rebounds. In just six games with the NAZ Suns, he has three of the top 11 scoring games off the bench in team history.
Jared Harper’s team-record-long streak of scoring 20+ points ends at seven games, as he had 16 points and six assists. Tariq Owens also scored 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting, adding three assists and three blocks. Ahmed Hill joined the pair with 16 points of his own on 6-of-9 shooting, 4-of-5 from deep, and six rebounds.
Jalen Lecque just missed out on his first double-double with 14 points (7-14 FG), nine rebounds and five assists. Norense Odiase earned his fifth double-double with 10 points (5-6 FG), 12 boards and two swats.
Desi Rodriguez led the Clippers with 18 points, to go with six rebounds and two blocks.
The Suns will look to repeat on Saturday, with these teams facing off again at ACC at 1:30 p.m. MT.