PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – It was “Welcome home!” for the Northern Arizona Suns and “Welcome back!” for Retin Obasohan.
Obasohan’s last game played was Jan. 19, when he made a go-ahead and-1 layup to win it for NAZ. What did he do in his return? Oh, he made a go-ahead and-1 layup that put the Suns up for good against the Stockton Kings at the Findlay Toyota Center. The Suns (7-27) beat the Kings (19-12) on Tuesday night 94-90.
The Suns trailed by two points twice with less than a minute remaining. Down 88-86, Obasohan made a driving layup to tie it with 48.2 seconds left. Stockton’s Cameron Reynolds answered with a floater to put the Kings up 90-88. Then Obasohan drove again, completing an and-1 layup with 29.8 seconds left to put the Suns ahead 91-90. They would remain ahead the rest of the game, with two forced turnovers by Northern Arizona and clutch free throws sealing it.
Obasohan recorded a career-high 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting, to go with six rebounds, five assists, three steals, a block and a game-high +13. He made his first career start tonight, scoring his second career 20+ point game (20 points at Wisconsin on Jan. 9).
The last time these two teams played, it marked a great defensive battle, but Stockton took it 90-84. It was that way yet again as both teams forced 15+ turnovers and neither squad shot better than 43 percent from the field. The Suns are now responsible for two of the three lowest scoring games of the Kings’ season.
Hollis Thompson made it a two-possession game with a free throw at the end, finishing with 18 points, five rebounds, two steals and a block. Peter Jok made both free throws to put the Suns up 93-90 as he just missed out on a double-double, getting 11 points on 3-of-7 from distance and nine rebounds. Off the bench were Aaron Epps (11 points, 4-5 FG, four rebounds) and Daxter Miles Jr. (11 points, three rebounds).
Tonight’s win marked head coach Bret Burchard’s first victory against his former colleague and former NAZ Suns head coach Ty Ellis. The Suns snapped a three-game losing skid, breaking the Kings’ three-game winning streak in the process.
Reynolds had a team-high 21 points for Stockton, to go with four rebounds and two steals. Troy Williams achieved the lone double-double of the game with 16 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block. Marcus Williams dished out 10 assists to go with nine rebounds, eight points and eight turnovers.
The Suns will continue their three-game homestand against the Lakeland Magic on Friday at 7 p.m. MT. It will be their first ever home game against Lakeland and just second matchup in team history. The Kings will go home for a single game, also taking on the Magic. They’ll play each other on Sunday at 2 p.m. MT.