PRESCOTT VALLEY – JANUARY 14, 2017 – Johnny O’Bryant scored 26 points and piled up 17 rebounds, Derrick Jones Jr. added 20 points and the Northern Arizona Suns (12-10) overpowered the Grand Rapids Drive (11-14) in the second half at home on Saturday night by a 121-90 final.
The Drive dropped their fourth game in a row, and their second consecutive by at least 30 points. Elijah Millsap added 19 points and eight rebounds for the Suns, and three other Northern Arizona players scored in double figures as well.
Jordan Crawford was easily the most reliable source of offense on the Grand Rapids side, as he poured in 29 points off the bench after sitting out the Drive’s last game in Salt Lake City. Ray McCallum added 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Ramon Harris provided 12 points.
The Drive outscored the Suns 26-21 in the second quarter to trim the six-point first-quarter lead down to just one at halftime, where Northern Arizona led 52-51. But it was all Suns from there, as they dominated the rest of the game to the tune of a 69-39 second-half advantage. The Drive tied a season high for second-half points allowed and missed a season low in second-half scoring by just three points.
The poor shooting and rebounding that have plagued the Drive recently on their seven-game road trip were again a problem in this contest. Northern Arizona shot 52 percent from the floor and held Grand Rapids to 38 percent. They out-rebounded the Drive 59-38, also a season high for a Drive opponent in rebounds. The Drive also neared a season-low with a paltry 10 assists.
Northern Arizona was also more effective from behind the long line, making three more three-pointers than the Drive despite attempting just one more. They had 27 assists and shot 29-of-45 in the paint compared to 15-of-43 from the Drive.
Grand Rapids will hope that a change of scenery from the West will help stop the bleeding, as their next two games will take place at the D-League Showcase in Ontario. They will take on Raptors 905 on Jan. 18 at 12:30 p.m. next. The Suns will also head to the Showcase next, and their first game during the Showcase will be against Oklahoma City at 4 p.m. the same day.