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January 24, 2010

Men’s Basketball Posts Comeback Win over Sacramento State

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Cameron Jones scored 18 of his game-high 27 points in the second half as Northern Arizona posted a 75-71 come-from-behind win over the Sacramento State Hornets Sunday at the Walkup Skydome.

NAU improved to 10-9 on the season and 4-4 in Big Sky play, moving into a tie for fourth place in the league standings at the half way point of conference play.

“We got off to a fairly good start but then we just became a very sloppy team,” said Head Coach Mike Adras. “Cameron was big. At that one stretch, he got us back in the game.”

The Lumberjacks trailed by eight at 52-44 with 9:19 left in the game before going on a 10-2 run to tie the game at 54. Redshirt freshman Gabe Rogers hit back-to-back three-pointers to spark the run with Jones adding a pair of free throws and Nick Larson dunking after a steal.

“You can’t discount the threes by Gabe,” said Adras. “They were big for us when we needed them. It is amazing why that shot is an unbelievable emotional lift whether they hit a three or dunk the ball.”

NAU extended the lead to six points with a third three-pointer by Rogers and five straight points by Jones. The Hornets cut the lead to two points at 68-66 with 2:39 left but NAU responded with back-to-back buckets by Jones and Nick Larson. The Lumberjacks sealed the game at the line, hitting 3-of-4 in the final minute.

Jones finished with 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting with nine points at the line to go with six rebounds. Rogers finished with 11 points with his three second-half three-pointers and Shane Johannsen added 10 points.

NAU shot 57 percent for the game but struggled beyond the arc before Rogers hit three consecutive triples, finishing just 3-of-14 overall. NAU had 13 turnovers in the game, including just four in the second half. NAU has hit at least one three-pointer in 242 of the last 244 games dating to 2001.

Sacramento State (7-14, 1-7) had four players in double figures led by Sultan Toles-Bey with 17 points.

NAU stays home this week with a pair of games against Montana State and Montana starting Thursday against the Bobcats. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. in the Walkup Skydome.