NAZ Suns Rusty Following Break, Lose at Charge

By Jacob Withee | February 19, 2020

CANTON, Ohio – Following their longest in-season break in team history at 10 days in-between games, the Northern Arizona Suns opened their three-game road trip a bit rusty as they lost at the Canton Charge 106-94.

The Suns (8-27) dropped their seventh straight game, this one wire-to-wire, while the Charge (22-13) got back on the right foot having lost three of four entering Wednesday night’s contest at the Canton Civic Center in Canton, Ohio.

The Suns had made 85-of-159 (.535) from the field, including 26-of-61 (.426) from distance, in their last two games before the All-Star break. Tonight, they made 35-of-91 (.385) from the field, 9-of-30 (.300) from beyond the arc, comped to Canton’s 36-of-87 (.414) clip, 12-of-37 (.324) from deep.

The first half was close throughout, with each team cold to start. Tariq Owens led the Suns at the break with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting and five rebounds. The Charge held just a five-point lead at halftime, 54-49.

The Charge opened the second half on a 12-2 run to lead by 15. The Suns chipped away to get within nine after the third quarter, 80-71. The Charge again opened the next quarter strong, getting a 6-0 spurt to go back up 15. The Suns trailed by about the 10-point mark the rest of the way.

Ike Nwamu scored 17 of his team-high 19 points in the second half. He finished the game shooting 7-of-11 from the field, 3-of-5 from distance, making 6-8 FG, 3-4 3PT, in the final 24 minutes.

Jalen Lecque recorded 14 points and five rebounds, scoring his 19th 10+ point game of the season. ShawnDre Jones had an all-around performance with 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Owens finished with those 12 points and five rebounds after playing just 40 seconds in the second half. Aaron Epps tallied seven points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, securing his fifth double-digit rebound game this year.

Marques Bolden led the Charge with 19 points (7-15 FG), 14 rebounds, five blocks and two steals. His five blocks are the most by a Suns’ opponent this season, as he earned his sixth double-double in 2019-20. Matt Mooney achieved 18 points (5-11 FG, 5-5 FT), five rebounds, five assists and two steals.

The Suns next will begin a back-to-back set on Friday at the Grand Rapids Drive at 5 p.m. MT. The Charge hit the road for two, starting at the Delaware Blue Coats on Friday at 5 p.m. MT.

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