SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Northern Arizona Suns started off red-hot from the field, and shot the ball relatively well the entire game, but it was the Sioux Falls Skyforce coming out of the Sanford Pentagon with the win.
Sioux Falls (4-0) remains undefeated after beating the Suns (1-2) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 109-99. Northern Arizona shot 39-of-80 (.488) from the field in the second game of a back-to-back set.
Jawun Evans made his first start with the NAZ Suns and immediately went to work, posting 11 points, three rebounds and three assists in the opening frame. The Suns shot 15-of-23 (.652) in the first 12 minutes, taking an early 33-27 lead.
Things changed dramatically in the second, as the Suns shot about half as well (6-of-17, .353), dropping the frame 31-19 to head into the locker room down 58-52. After a back-and-forth third quarter, the Suns made it interesting in the fourth with Peter Jok coming alive to score 12 of his 13 points in the frame, but ultimately the Skyforce were too much.
George King led the Suns with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, to go with 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals. The Phoenix Suns Two-Way forward had Northern Arizona’s lone double-double. Evans finished with 18 points, while Phoenix Suns’ assignee De’Anthony Melton followed up his triple-double on Tuesday with 12 points, three rebounds and two assists today.
Eric Stuteville led the bench with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting, six rebounds and two blocks, setting his longest career streak scoring in double figures at three games. Daniel Dixon scored a season-high 11 points to go with five rebounds off the pine.
Sioux Falls’ Yante Maten recorded 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting and 10 rebounds. He has achieved double-doubles in three straight contests, averaging 28.0 points on 61.4 percent shooting and 11.5 rebounds over his first four games. Raphiael Putney scored 15 points, Briante Weber tallied 10 points, eight assists, four rebounds and four steals, while Rodney Purvis led the bench with 14 points.
The Suns will wrap up their early-season three-game road trip on Friday against the defending NBA G League champion Austin Spurs at 6:30 p.m. MT. Sioux Falls will finish its three-game homestand on Saturday against the Wisconsin Herd at 6 p.m. MT.