DES MOINES, Iowa – The Northern Arizona Suns again saw their fast start quickly vanish at the end of the first quarter, but this time around they made it a battle the whole 48 minutes. Ultimately, though, big shots by the Iowa Energy propelled the home team to victory at Wells Fargo Arena over the visiting Suns 108-103.
The Suns jumped ahead of the Energy 10-2, all thanks to Elijah Millsap, who scored all 10 points for NAZ in the first four minutes of the game. Iowa answered by going on a 13-5 run to knot it at 15, before keeping up its good play to lead after the first quarter by two.
Northern Arizona would never lead in the game again, despite a big fourth quarter comeback. The Suns trailed by 13 with less than six minutes remaining in the game before going on a 17-5 run to trail by just a single point with 2:56 on the clock.
Iowa’s Cartier Martin hit two big shots, Wes Washpun nailed a three-pointer, and the Energy made all six of its free throws with less than 30 seconds remaining to win for the fourth time in its last five games. It also marked Iowa’s third consecutive win at home, making its record now 6-21 on the year.
The Suns (12-14) lost their fourth straight game and have now lost nine consecutive games away from Prescott Valley Event Center (one was considered a home game at the NBA Development League Showcase in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada).
Askia Booker led the late surge, scoring 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the fourth quarter as part of his 24 second half points. He finished with 26 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Elijah Millsap led the Suns with 29 points, earning a double-double with 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Xavier Silas scored 14 points, and off the bench were Josh Gray with 11 points and Derek Cooke Jr. with 11 rebounds.
Jarell Martin came off the bench for the Energy to lead all scorers with 32 points on 13-of-22 shooting, to go with six rebounds.
The Suns will head home and play for the first time at PVEC since Jan. 14, with a game set against the Salt Lake City Stars on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m MT. NAZ is 3-0 against the Stars so far this season. Iowa will head back on the road to take on the Reno Bighorns on Wednesday at 8 p.m. MT.