NAZ Suns Erase Deficit in Fourth Quarter to Win

13 March 2017  
Photo Courtesy: Matt Hinshaw/NAZ Suns
NAZ Suns Overcome Twenty-Four Point Deficit to Win

PRESCOTT VALLEY- Things were looking bleak for the Northern Arizona Suns against the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Sunday night at the Prescott Valley Event Center as the team trailed for nearly the entire game and at one point was down by twenty-four points, however, the NAZ Suns turned it around and outscored the Skyforce by twenty-points in the fourth quarter to pick up the 127-123 win in front of 1600 fans.

“I want to give them (the players) all the credit,” said Northern Arizona Suns head coach Ty Ellis after the game. “This is a collective win and I’m so proud of the guys, they fought-they didn’t give up.

“We could have just folded, but we didn’t,” Ellis continued.

The Skyforce used five three-point baskets in the opening minutes to extend a six-point advantage over the NAZ Suns at the end of the first quarter. Sioux Falls continued the onslaught in the second quarter as the Skyforce went on a 15-2 run in the middle minutes, in route to a sixteen-point advantage after one half of play.

The NAZ Suns began to show signs of life in the third quarter as the team went on a 9-0 run due to consecutive three-point baskets from Alex Davis and Xavier Silas, which decreased the deficit to only seven. However, the Skyforce would answer back with a 12-2 run and end the third quarter up 99-83.

Having nearly come back in the third quarter, Ellis challenged his guys to perform and defend the home court.

“They are coming in to our house talking trash and beating us up in our house,” Ellis said. “Not only you guys, but they are beating me up too. The difference is I can’t go out there and fight, but you guys can.”

The team battled throughout the final twelve minutes as the NAZ Suns were led by Silas who picked up 16 points in the final quarter along with Eli Millsap who scored ten. NAZ Suns took their first lead of the game with three minutes remaining, an advantage they would not relinquish for the win.

“We saw that we had just done it, we just came back and cut it to seven,” said Silas. “We knew we could do it so we came together and did it and it felt good.”

Silas lead team with 37 points, including nine out of thirteen from beyond the arch, and a perfect night from the free throw line. Millsap added 27 points along with seven assists and nine rebounds.

The game was important for the Northern Arizona Suns who are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. Sioux Falls now finds themselves tied with the Santa Cruz Warriors for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the NAZ Suns are just four games back with eight to play. However, Ellis is just looking for good basketball night in and night out.

“I alleviated that pressure about the playoffs a couple of games ago,” said Ellis. “I told them forget about the playoffs, let’s just play good basketball. If the wins take care of themselves and we have a chance for the playoffs, then so be it, but right now let’s just have some fun and play together.”

Now with a two-game winning streak, the Northern Arizona Suns (21-21) remain at the Prescott Valley Event Center for a matchup with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Wednesday at 6:30pm.

All Photos by Matt Hinshaw @ Hinshaw Photography unless noted otherwise.

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