Originally Published: November 7, 2018 11:46 p.m.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Suiting up for the second straight night on the road, the Northern Arizona Suns couldn’t make an early lead stick against the Sioux Falls Skyforce, falling 109-99 Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the Sanford Pentagon.
With the loss, the Suns’ record dipped to 1-2, while the Skyforce remained unbeaten at 4-0.
Northern Arizona, which won its first game of the 2018-19 season at the Iowa Wolves on Tuesday, shot 49 percent from the field (39 of 80) in the second game of a back-to-back set.
Starting forward George King led the Suns with a double-double of 21 points (8 of 10 shooting, 3 for 3 from 3-point range) and 10 rebounds. He added two assists and two steals.
Jawun Evans, a guard from Oklahoma State whom the Suns claimed in recent days, made his first start for Northern Arizona and fared well, registering 11 points, three rebounds and three assists in the first quarter. He finished with 18 points. The Suns shot 15 of 23 for 65 percent in the first 12 minutes to grab a 33-27 lead.
Momentum shifted in the second quarter, however, as the Suns went cold from the floor (6 of 17, 35 percent), being outscored 31-19 for the period to trail 58-52 at halftime. After a back-and-forth third quarter, the Suns made it interesting in the fourth when Peter Jok netted 12 of his 13 points, but Sioux Falls stood its ground in the end.
Other Suns who stood out included Phoenix Suns assignee De’Anthony Melton, who followed up his triple-double in Tuesday’s victory with 12 points, three rebounds and two assists.
Northern Arizona center Eric Stuteville came off the bench to tally 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks. On Wednesday, he set his longest career streak of scoring in double figures at three games. Daniel Dixon registered a season-high 11 points and grabbed five rebounds.
For Sioux Falls, Yante Maten scored a game-high 32 points and hauled in 10 rebounds. Maten has now recorded three consecutive double-doubles, averaging 28 points on 61.4 percent shooting and 11.5 rebounds in the first four games of the season.
Pitching in for the hosts were Raphiael Putney (15 points), Briante Weber (10 points, eight assists, four rebounds, four steals) and Rodney Purvis (14 points).
The Suns wrap up their three-game road trip at the defending G League champion Austin Spurs (0-1 record) at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9. Austin lost to the Texas Legends, 126-120, in its season/home opener Nov. 3 in Frisco, Texas.
Sioux Falls finishes its three-game home stand at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, versus the Wisconsin Herd (1-1).
Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.