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Career-highs the Theme in Suns Romping of Delaware

By Jacob Withee | February 7, 2017

NEWARK, Del. — The Northern Arizona Suns had lost nine consecutive games away from the Prescott Valley Event Center, but they broke that streak in a big way with a 126-105 win over the Delaware 87ers.

The Suns began a bit slow, falling behind 12-4 early in the morning game, but they were scorching hot from the field for the remainder of the contest in front of a record 4,104 fans at the Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, Delaware.

Both teams shot 66.7 percent from the field in the first quarter, and on Northern Arizona’s side of things, that was mainly thanks to three players who had career-games in Askia Booker, Derek Cooke Jr. and Shaquille Harrison.

In the first frame alone, the trio shot a combined 11-for-12 from the field for 25 points, giving the Suns a five-point lead that they would never relinquish.

Both Cooke and Harrison had career-scoring days off the bench as part of 64 bench points the Suns were able to produce.

Harrison led the Suns with 24 points on 10-of-14 (.714) shooting, besting the 19 points he scored in the season-opener on Nov. 12 against Iowa.

Cooke tallied 22 points on 9-of-11 (.818) shooting, to go with seven rebounds. Cooke’s previous career-high was also 19 points when he scored his in a double overtime affair at Los Angeles on Nov. 23.

As a team, the Suns finished the game 50-for-92, setting their best shooting percentage in team history at 54.3 percent. The Suns are now 6-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field.

The Suns dominated the paint, scoring 72 points inside compared to the 54 scored by the 87ers. Northern Arizona also forced 20 turnovers that led to 29 points, while Delaware was able to score just 12 points off 11 Suns turnovers.

Booker just missed out on a triple-double, tallying 19 points, eight assists, and a career-best 10 rebounds. Josh Gray achieved 16 points, six assists and five rebounds off the bench, while Elijah Millsap (15 points and seven assists), Alex Davis (11 points and seven rebounds), and Xavier Silas (11 points) rounded out the double-digit scoring for NAZ.

Delaware’s Shawn Long and Russ Smith both had big games, as they each tallied 25 points. Long earned a double-double with 11 rebounds, while Smith added five rebounds and four assists.

This was the first time the Suns won when allowing over 100 points to their opponent since Dec. 10.

The Suns will continue their season-long five-game road trip with the second installment coming at the Maine Red Claws on Thursday at 5 p.m. MT. The 87ers get to stay at home against the Canton Charge on Friday, with tip off slated for 5 p.m. MT.

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