SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – Going to the free throw line with 1.6 seconds left and a tied game, Archie Goodwin was getting two free throws attempts to essentially win the game for the Northern Arizona Suns. The first attempt bounced off the rim but the second swished through, giving the Suns a 120-119 win Wednesday night at the Memphis Hustle.
The Hustle had a last attempt to win the game themselves, but defensive star Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson slapped the ball away, not allowing Memphis to even get a shot off.
The Suns (18-19) entered the post-All-Star break set of games 3.0 games back of a playoff spot, so every game down the stretch will be pivotal. The Hustle (15-25) fell to 6-13 at home at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.
Danuel House led Northern Arizona with 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-10 from distance, to go with six rebounds and two steals. It marked his fifth 20+ point game in eight tries with NAZ.
It was a true team-win for the Suns, who had seven guys tally 10+ points, including all five starters. Goodwin recorded 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting, nine assists, five rebounds and five steals. When starting for NAZ (nine games), Goodwin has averaged 21.9 points on 54.6 percent shooting and 7.6 rebounds. The Suns are 6-3 when he starts.
Hollis-Jefferson compiled 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, nine rebounds and two steals off the bench in 28 minutes.
Alec Peters tallied 15 points and five assists, Lavoy Allen achieved his second double-double in his third game with the Suns (12 points, 12 rebounds), Josh Gray notched 11 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals, while Mike Young earned 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Suns jumped out a huge lead, dropping 40 points in the first quarter to go up by 15. That lead would grow to 17 before Memphis started mounting its comeback. The Hustle outscored the Suns 33-22 in the second to get within four. A close third quarter yielded an exciting finish. Memphis’ Myke Henry dropped 14 points in the final frame to help the Hustle take a one-point lead with 34.4 seconds left, but Goodwin’s heroics powered the Suns to the victory.
Omari Johnson led all scorers with 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including 8-of-13 from distance, to go with seven rebounds. Johnson’s eight three-pointers were the most made by a Hustle player in team history.
Henry ended up with 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting and eight rebounds. Marquis Teague dropped 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, seven assists and five rebounds, but was also credited with eight turnovers on the night.
The Suns will wrap up a four-game road trip at the Texas Legends on Friday at 6:30 p.m. MT. The Hustle stay at home to host the Reno Bighorns on Saturday at 12 p.m. MT.