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NAZ Suns Outlast Iowa Wolves In Overtime
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12 November 2017
 
NAZ Suns Forward Derrick Jones Jr. battles for the basket against the Iowa Wolves on Saturday, November 11th, 2017 in Prescott Valley, Arizona. All Photos by: Torrence Dunham

Askia Booker Scores 31 In NAZ Suns Overtime Victory Against Iowa Wolves on Breast Cancer Awarness Night

PRESCOTT VALLEY- While the score was a bit lower than Thursday, the excitement was the same or even higher as the Northern Arizona Suns beat the Iowa Wolves again on Saturday night, November 11th, at the Prescott Valley Event Center 124-119 after ten lead changes and twelve ties.

“Mental toughness, coach talks about it every day,” NAZ Suns Guard Askia Booker said. “The D-League is a battle every night. Anybody can win on any given night.”

Booker continued his impressive start to the season in the first quarter, draining 12 of the NAZ Suns 30-points in the first quarter. The Iowa Wolves matched Booker and the NAZ Suns with 30-points of their own, 16 of which came from Amile Jefferson.

The NAZ Suns continued the momentum in the second quarter, opening the frame on a 17-4 run. However, the Wolves would take control of the momentum with an 18-9 run and cut the deficit to one-point at halftime.

Halftime didn’t slow down Iowa as the team outscored the NAZ Suns 28-24 in the third quarter and took a three-point lead into the final quarter.

Each team continued to go back-and-forth throughout the final quarter. After the Northern Arizona Suns grabbed a two-point advantage with under a minute remaining in regulation, Elijah Millsap burned his former squad with a layup that sent the game into overtime.

Once overtime began, Derrick Jones Jr. nailed a three-point basket with just over a minute remaining for the NAZ Suns. The team never looked back as the NAZ Suns only allowed one basket while adding on two more of their own to pick up the victory.

The NAZ Suns are dedicated to an up-tempo offense and a familiar issue occurred again on Saturday night as the team turned the ball over 18 times, which lead to 20 points. However, the NAZ Suns improved from a franchise-record 28 turnovers on Thursday night.

“When we’re making that commitment to flying fast, we’re going to turn the ball over, we are going to take quick-shots bad and things like that,” Northern Arizona Suns Head Coach Cody Toppert said. “But we can’t carry that back on defense. We need to be two-way runners.”

“Overall, I’m extremely proud of the effort, the commitment to our system has been tremendous,” Toppert continued. “I think if we keep taking strides day-by-day, we have a chance to be pretty darn good.”

Booker led the NAZ Suns with 34-points in the win while Jones Jr. added 24 points. Anthony Brown paced the Iowa Wolves with 33-points.

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS NIGHT

The Northern Arizona Suns hosted their second annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night as the players suited up in pink jerseys with names of individuals affected by cancer printed on the front and back. The night was special for Toppert whose cousin suffered through breast cancer.

“Cancer has struck my family really hard,” Toppert said. “Tonight is something special that we can come out and raise some money for a great cause, continue to find a cure and just fight. There are so many strong women out there that are fighting daily and I think for us if we can do our little small part to pitch in and help with the fight, it’s our responsibility.”

The Northern Arizona Suns (2-1) head on the road for the first time this season for a Tuesday night matchup against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at 6:00 pm.

People who are interested in attending NAZ Suns home games can buy tickets at the door, or purchase them online.

UPCOMING HOME GAMES IN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER

Saturday, November 11th against Iowa Wolves at 7:00pm
Thursday, November 16th against Long Island Nets at 6:30pm
Tuesday, November 21st against Austin Spurs at 6:30pm.
Tuesday, December 5th against the South Bay Lakers at 6:30pm
Sunday, December 10th against the Westchester Knicks at 3:00pm
Tuesday, December 12th against the Santa Cruz Warriors at 6:30pm
Friday, December 22nd against the Oklahoma City Blue at 7:00pm

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Torrence Dunham

Torrence Dunham is a multimedia journalist who graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.  Torrence is our PrescottValleyeNews.com Correspondent covering local news and events in Prescott Valley. He is also the lead sports correspondent and play-by-play pro for all our multimedia news sites. If he's not adding to his extensive sports bobble-head collection, he's talking baseball, his favorite. Follow him on Twitter: @Tadunham.