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Young nets 37, but NAZ Suns fall to Warriors 138-126

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Northern Arizona's Mike Young (23) goes to the basket against Raptors 905 on Friday, March 16, 2018, in Prescott Valley. Young scored 37 points, but the Suns lost 138-126 to the Santa Cruz Warriors on Sunday, March 18, 2018, in Santa Cruz, Calif. (Matt Hinshaw/NAZ Suns, File)

Northern Arizona's Mike Young (23) goes to the basket against Raptors 905 on Friday, March 16, 2018, in Prescott Valley. Young scored 37 points, but the Suns lost 138-126 to the Santa Cruz Warriors on Sunday, March 18, 2018, in Santa Cruz, Calif. (Matt Hinshaw/NAZ Suns, File)

Suns return to PVEC for final 3 home games of 2017-18 season

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Falling just short of his career high, Mike Young scored 37 points on 15 of 26 shooting from the field, grabbed nine rebounds and had five assists, but Northern Arizona couldn’t keep pace with the Warriors in a 138-126 loss to Santa Cruz on Sunday evening.

Young’s career-high 41 points came against Maine on Feb. 2. With the loss, Northern Arizona splits the season series with Santa Cruz, 2-2.

It is the sixth loss in the last seven games for the Suns (21-26), which are now guaranteed to finish under .500 for the second straight year since coming to Prescott Valley.

Northern Arizona won just 22 games a season ago, and after the club was eliminated from playoff contention Friday in a 118-114 loss to Raptors 905, they’ll have three games remaining on the 2017-18 schedule to surpass that mark.

Josh Gray scored 28 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out eight assists, while Archie Goodwin scored 24 points and had six rebounds.

Goodwin, a former Kentucky standout, is averaging 19.1 points per game (23) in a Suns uniform this season.

The Suns shot 48 percent from the field (48 of 100), but were just 8 of 33 from beyond the arc (24.2 percent) and were outrebounded 50 to 40.

Santa Cruz (23-24) jumped out to a 24-5 lead in the first quarter after Jabari Brown hit a 3-pointer with 6:19 to play in the period.

Brown finished with a game-high 40 points on 14 of 26 shooting, including seven 3-pointers, and had seven assists. Jeremy Pargo recorded a double-double with 21 points and 12 assists, while Avry Holmes scored 20 points in 27 minutes off the bench for Santa Cruz.

The Suns never led Sunday, despite outscoring the Warriors 72-54 in the paint.

UP NEXT

Northern Arizona returns home to host its final three games of the 2017-18 at the Prescott Valley Event Center, beginning with Texas on Wednesday, March 21. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.

The Suns will play back-to-back games against Sioux Falls on Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24, to end the season.

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email bbergner@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.