DES MOINES, Iowa — Elijah Millsap had a double-double with 29 points and 10 rebounds, but a 24-9 second-quarter spurt by the Energy proved too much for Northern Arizona to overcome in a 108-103 loss to Iowa on Saturday night.
It is the fourth straight loss for the short-handed Suns, which saw forward Derrick Jones Jr. called up to the parent club Phoenix Suns a week ago, and center Johnny O’Bryant get signed by the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.
Northern Arizona (12-14) has now lost 13 of 15 since starting 10-1 and have fallen 8.5 games back of streaking Los Angeles in the Pacific Division.
Millsap was 7 of 22 from the field, including three 3-pointers, and was 12 of 13 from the free-throw line in 44 minutes played. He scored all 10 points in a 10-2 run by Northern Arizona to begin the game.
After taking a 27-25 lead entering the second quarter, Iowa (6-21) went on a 24-9 run capped by a Cartier Martin running layin, giving the Energy a 51-34 lead with 3:09 to play until halftime and Northern Arizona never recovered.
Martin finished with 14 points, but Jarell Martin led the Energy with a game-high 32 points on 13 of 22 shooting from the field and grabbed six rebounds.
Late in the fourth, back-to-back 3-pointers by Askia Booker and Xavier Silas cut Iowa’s lead to four, 94-90, with 3:48 remaining in the contest, but the Suns’ comeback efforts fell short.
Booker finished with 26 points, 24 of which came in the second half, on 10 of 20 shooting and three assists, while Silas added 14 points. Derrick Cooke Jr. scored five points, but grabbed 11 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.
Northern Arizona returns home to host Salt Lake City at the Prescott Valley Event Center on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
The Stars (7-20) come into Prescott Valley having lost three straight and sporting the third-worst record in the NBA D-League. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is an associate sports editor for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Reach him by phone at 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.