PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – For the third straight game, Northern Arizona Suns guard Jawun Evans had a career-best night, but a late run by the Memphis Hustle proved costly to the team.
Evans tallied 33 points on 10-of-22 shooting, plus 11-of-12 from the free throw line, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. For the third straight game, he notched a new career-high in scoring, besting his 29-point game on Saturday. His 33 points are the most a Suns player has scored in a game this season.
However, the Suns (2-9) couldn’t come up with the win against the Hustle (5-4) at the Prescott Valley Event Center on Tuesday night.
Evans’ last points scored that boosted him to 33 also gave the Suns a two-point lead, 102-100, with 1:55 left in the game. The Hustle followed with 10 unanswered points, ending the game on an 11-2 run.
Memphis’ Brandon Goodwin led all scorers with 36 points on 15-of-24 shooting, to go with five rebounds, three assists and four steals. His 36 points are the most points scored against the Suns this season. It was his show as just three of his teammates scored in double figures, including Jevon Carter (25 points, five rebounds, six assists, four steals, two blocks), Dusty Hannahs (13 points) and Kyle Casey (10 points).
This was a close game from start to finish, with neither team leading by double figures the entire contest. The Suns took an early 31-27 advantage after the first quarter, then extended the lead by one heading into the locker room, up 60-55. Evans scored 16 in the first half, with Goodwin tallying 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
Memphis responded in the third quarter despite giving up a 60 percent clip to Northern Arizona, as the Hustle won the quarter 30-27. The Suns went cold in the fourth, shooting 8-of-22 (.364) from the field, 1-of-6 (.167) from distance and 0-of-2 from the free throw line. Memphis, meanwhile, made eight free throws in the final quarter, winning the frame 26-17.
Each member of the Suns’ starting five scored in double figures. Phoenix Suns assignee De’Anthony Melton recorded 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in his first game with the NAZ Suns since Nov. 9. Peter Jok and Eric Stuteville scored 12 points apiece. Aaron Epps had 10 points and seven rebounds, while Daniel Dixon led the bench with 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting, to go with six rebounds and two steals.
The Suns will look to snap a five-game losing streak with a Friday night tilt against the Sioux Falls Skyforce at 6 p.m. MT. That will be the first game of a road back-to-back set. The Hustle return home for a game on Saturday against the South Bay Lakers at 6 p.m. MT.