Alec Peters scored 34 points on eight 3-pointers, Anthony Bennett recorded his first double-double of the season, but the Northern Arizona Suns shot just 41 percent from the field and committed 21 turnovers in a 128-127 loss to Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday night.
Peters, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound former Valparaiso standout, was 12 from 18 from the field, including an 8 for 12 mark from beyond the arc, and had four rebounds.
Bennett, a former No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013, scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Hidalgo, Texas.
Up 108-96 after a Shaquille Harrison dunk early in the fourth quarter, Northern Arizona (2-2) surrendered a 23-13 Vipers run capped off by a Monte Morris 3-pointer with 2:54 to play.
After Derrick Jones Jr. hit a pair of free throws to give the Suns a 127-126 lead with 15.4 seconds left, Northern Arizona’s broke down defensively, giving up a layup to Briante Weber for the win.
Weber had 25 points on 8 of 11 shooting from the field, including an 8 for 10 mark from the free-throw line, grabbed seven rebounds and dished nine assists to lead the Vipers.
R.J. Hunter scored 20 points on four 3 pointers and grabbed five rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench for Rio Grande Valley (2-3).
Other standouts for the Suns included Josh Gray, who scored 30 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished five assists, while Askia Booker chipped in with 19 points, but had seven turnovers.
Northern Arizona hit 18 3-pointers and forced the Vipers to commit 28 turnovers, but the host club shot 55 percent from the field (47 of 86) and out-rebounded the Suns 51 to 41.
The Suns return to Prescott Valley to host the Long Island Nets on Thursday. Tipoff at the Prescott Valley Event Center is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier, the Prescott Valley Tribune and the Chino Valley Review. Follow him on Twitter at @SportsWriter52 or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.
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