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Northern Arizona Suns Fall In Season Opener

05 November 2017  
All Photos by: Matt Hinshaw/NAZ Suns

Tough Second Quarter Sinks NAZ Suns On Opening Night

PRESCOTT VALLEY- Many new faces were on the floor Saturday night, November 4th, as the Northern Arizona Suns began their second season with a loss at the hands of the Agua Caliente Clippers 126-118. One of these new faces was Cody Toppert, who was announced as the new head coach of the team mere hours before game time. Considering the amount of time to create a game plan, Toppert was pleased with the performance.

“From a scheme perspective, obviously we haven’t been able to put a lot in,” Toppert said after the game. “I’m extremely proud of the effort considering that we’re just now getting organized and essentially put an entire new system in about two days.”

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The Northern Arizona Suns started off the first quarter with a 33-28 lead but the Clippers answered by outscoring the NAZ Suns by 14 points in the second quarter. Down by 19 points during the fourth quarter, the NAZ Suns came back through the use of the three-point shot to make it a seven-point game. However, the Clippers hung on for the victory.

“We got a lot of great shots, unfortunately, they didn’t all go down,” Northern Arizona Suns guard Askia Booker said. “On the defensive end we need to sharpen up and we have to watch a lot of
film and understand that we have to help the person that gets beat.”

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Josh Gray paced the NAZ Suns with 30 points while Askia Booker and Shaq Harrison both drained 27 points. Meanwhile, Brice Johnson picked up 25 points to lead the Clippers.

The fans showed up in full force on Saturday night, as over 2,200 people came through the doors of the Prescott Valley Event Center.

“Tonight was amazing,” Booker said. “It was a lot more people than during the year last year. So if they (the fans) can keep it consistent like that, we’re going to try and put on a show every night and give them something to root for.”

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“Great support, the community came out,” Toppert said. “Obviously we came up short…but if they keep bringing it, we will have a true sixth man in this league and it’s going to give us an advantage.”

Now with all the pieces in place and the first game out of the way, the Northern Arizona Suns will hit the practice court in preparation for the Thursday, November 9th, match against the Iowa Wolves at the Prescott Valley Event Center.

“The biggest thing is just familiarity with the system,” Toppert said. “I’m expecting a big jump forward.”

Tip-off is 6:30pm. People who are interested in attending the game can buy tickets at the door, or purchase them online.

Thursday, November 9th against Iowa Wolves at 6:30pm
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.

All Photos by Matt Hinshaw @ Hinshaw Photography unless noted otherwise. | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram