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Led by Lecque, Resilient Suns Just Fall at Windy City

By Jacob Withee | February 22, 2020

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – The Northern Arizona Suns showed great resiliency on Saturday night, but they came up short at the Windy City Bulls, 109-95.

Jalen Lecque led the Suns comeback charge with his first career double-double, dishing out a career-high 12 assists, adding 16 points and seven rebounds. The Suns dropped their ninth straight game to fall to 8-29, while the Bulls won their second straight to improve to 14-21.

The Bulls came out sharp, scoring the first 14 points of the game. Their lead would grow to 18 shortly after tip-off at 21-3. The Suns didn’t give up, chipping away throughout the frame to make it 30-21 after the first quarter. The Suns opened the second quarter on a 17-8 run, tying the game at 38, erasing that 18-point deficit entirely. The Bulls responded with a 6-0 spurt and another 6-0 spurt to end the half to lead 55-45 at the break.

Like the start of the first half, the Bulls started the second half hot, beginning the third quarter on a 21-8 run to lead by 23 points. Their lead would get as high as 24 points, as they entered the fourth quarter up 85-63. The Suns battled back again, getting with seven points with a few minutes remaining, but the Bulls got big rebounds when they need to.

Aaron Epps led the Suns with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting and 10 rebounds. This marked Epps’ 14th career double-double, now the most double-doubles by a Suns player in team history. Three Suns had 10+ points off the bench, including Ahmed Hill (15 points, 5-11 FG), Ike Nwamu (13 points, seven rebounds) and Keljin Blevins (career-high-tying 10 points, 4-5 FG, four rebounds).

The Suns outshot the Bulls 36-of-73 (.493) to 38-of-97 (.392). The Bulls were unbelievable from three-point range, however, making 23-of-47 (.489) from distance. That’s the most three-point makes against the Suns in a game in NAZ history, surpassing the 22 three-point makes by the Delaware Blue Coats on Feb. 2, 2019.

The Bulls had four players reach double figures, with three of them scoring 20+ points. Tre’Darius McCallum led with 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including 8-of-15 from three-point range, adding eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Simisola Shittu finished with 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting, 11 rebounds and five steals. Milton Doyle recorded 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting from distance, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. The Bulls starting five combined for 14 steals, forcing 22 turnovers from the Suns.

The Suns will finally return home, as they’ll face off against the Oklahoma City Blue at the Findlay Toyota Center on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. MT. The Bulls stay at home for a back-to-back against the Lakeland Magic tomorrow at 4 p.m. MT.

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