First Half Turnovers Hold Suns Back in Loss to Stars
SALT LAKE CITY - First half turnovers proved fatal for the Northern Arizona Suns on Saturday night in their 125-100 loss at the Salt Lake City Stars.
The Suns turned it over 16 times in the first half, while they were able to force just nine takeaways for the game. The Suns (2-9) fell for the seventh straight time, while the Stars (8-2) won their eighth straight game after starting the season 0-2. They remain unbeaten at home (5-0).
In the first quarter, the Suns forced Salt Lake City to go 0-of-7 from distance, but Northern Arizona was cold from the field, as the Stars took a 28-18 lead after one. It heated up for both teams in the second quarter, with the Stars taking a 60-39 lead into the locker room thanks to those 16 Suns turnovers.
In the third quarter, the Stars opened up their largest lead of the game, 30 points, and they never looked back, even though NAZ had just two turnovers in the second half. The Stars outshot the Suns 47-of-96 (.490) to 35-of-84 (.417) and outrebounded NAZ 49-39. SLC also outscored NAZ in the paint 74-40.
Jalen Lecque led all scorers in this one with 25 points on 8-of-17 shooting, plus 5-of-5 from the free throw line, to go with four assists and three rebounds in 28 minutes. He tied his career-high in scoring, marking his third career 20+ point game, tied for the second most such games on the team.
Daxter Miles Jr. continued his career-long streak of scoring in double figures, now at nine straight games, with an 18-point performance tonight. Norense Odiase recorded his second career double-double, his first since Nov. 17 vs. Rio Grande Valley, with 14 points (4-5 FG, 4-5 FT), 11 rebounds and four assists. Ahmed Hill rounded out the double-digit scoring effort for NAZ with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from distance.
The Stars had seven players reach the double-digit scoring threshold, led by Jarrell Brantley's 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Brantley also had a team-high eight rebounds and three steals, to go with five assists.
The Suns head back to Prescott Valley for a Tuesday game against the Texas Legends at 6:30 p.m. MT. The Stars will begin a three-game road trip on Wednesday at the Oklahoma City Blue at 6 p.m. MT.
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