The Northern Arizona Suns played a double-overtime thriller on Christmas in Sioux Falls last year, losing 96-94. Just four days after Christmas this year, the Suns and Skyforce again played a double-overtime thriller, and again Sioux Falls won 120-118 on Friday night.
Northern Arizona (7-13) followed a close first quarter with a 35-23 second frame, leading by 18 points in the middle of the quarter and taking a 67-51 lead at the break. Alec Peters scored 22 points on 8 of 10 shooting, including six 3-pointers, to go with four rebounds in the first half alone.
The Suns jumped out to a 14-1 run to open the fourth frame, taking a 100-83 lead with 7:20 remaining. After leading 106-90 with 5:02 left, Sioux Falls broke off a 20-2 run to take a two-point lead with just 1.5 seconds left. Shaquille Harrison drove and made a contested lay-up with 0.4 seconds left to tie the game.
He was fouled on the play, but failed to make the free throw.
The first three shots of overtime were made to give SXF a 114-113 lead with just over a minute left. Josh Gray nailed a three-point field goal with 7.4 ticks left to lift the Suns by two, but Peters was called for his sixth personal foul on a three-point attempt by Ike Nwamu with just 0.9 seconds left. Nwamu made his first two free throws and missed the third, sending the game into yet another period.
Trailing by two, Mike Young made a driving lay-up with 11.9 seconds left to tie the game. He was called for a foul on the other end that set up the game-winning free throws by Tony Mitchell. The Suns had their last two shots blocked as time expired, giving Sioux Falls (9-12) the hard-fought victory.
Peters led the Suns with 26 points to go with eight rebounds.
Xavier Silas made his return after missing the last two games with back spasms to tally 23 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. He made four three-pointers on the night, extending his career-long streak of making a long-ball to 20 games.
The Suns continue the seven-game road trip with a year-ending game on New Year’s Eve in Memphis. Tipoff is scheduled for noon.