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January 14, 2010

Men’s Basketball Takes on Eastern Washington Friday

NAU Game Notes vs. Eastern Washington (PDF)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Head Coach Mike Adras is hoping for a bounce back game Friday night when his Lumberjacks take on the Eastern Washington Eagles on the road. NAU is coming off its worst Big Sky Conference loss in a decade last Saturday against Weber State and are hoping for similar results orchestrated by that team after the loss. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Flagstaff time.

The 25 point loss to Weber State was the largest to a Big Sky opponent since NAU lost at Portland State by 26 points during the 1999-00 season (101-75). That team in Adras’ first season went on an 11-game win streak after the loss, won the Big Sky Tournament and earned a NCAA Tournament berth. It was also the largest Big Sky Conference loss at home since the Lumberjacks lost to Weber State by 37 points (101-64) to conclude the 1995-96 season. NAU finished the season 6-20 but went on to win the Big Sky Championship the next season.

“It will be a tough environment but given the fact that we have had four days to get ready for the game I feel pretty good about it,” said Head Coach Mike Adras.

Adras likes the Eagles’ Arena, Reese Court, for its shooting background.

“It is a great place to shoot the basketball,” said Adras. “I always feel good about scoring points up there.”

The Eagles are 6-11 on the season and 2-2 in league play, and also lost to Montana 79-66 last week in a game that was deadlocked at 53 in the second half. In its last home game on Dec. 31, the Eagles put a five-game losing streak to rest with a 79-75 victory over Sacramento State. They posted a 75-73 victory over Montana State won in the final seconds last weekend.

“They are coming off a road league win,” said Adras. “So they are feeling good about themselves. They are led by freshmen who are playing fearless for them right now.”
But the win over the Hornets was EWU's first home game since defeating Seattle University 100-97 in overtime on Dec. 12. In fact, Eastern went a full month from Dec. 13 to Jan. 14 with just one home game on the schedule.

NAU leads the all-time series 31-21 but trails 13-12 in Cheney. The Lumberjacks have won five of the last six meetings with the only loss coming in Cheney last season 54-50.

“I am hoping that after we have seen everybody once our young guys will start to figure things out and we will start to replicate what we did in the non-conference,” said Adras of the road success. “Three non-conference road wins is huge for us and it will help us now as we head on the road in the Big Sky Conference.”

NAU snapped a five-game road losing streak with the win at Santa Clara and have won three road games this season after going winless in seven non-conference games last season.

The game can be heard on the Lumberjack Radio Network on KAFF AM 930 and on the internet on Stretch Internet. There is also a free video feed on Big Sky Television.