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Men’s Basketball Loses to Colorado State

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Northern Arizona men’s basketball team rallied in the second half but failed to pull off the upset over Colorado State Sunday night at Moby Arena. NAU lost 64-56 in the third and final game of the road trip.

“We played really hard,” said Head Coach Mike Adras. “I am proud of our effort in the second half.”

Colorado State (8-3) led by as many as 14 points in the first half and posted a 12-point halftime lead. The Rams shot just 39 percent in the first half but outscored the Lumberjacks by 13 points as the free throw line. NAU, which played its second game in as many nights, had six players with two fouls apiece in the first 20 minutes.

Redshirt freshman Gabe Rogers led the comeback effort in the second half, scoring 11 of his team-best 17 points in the second stanza. He finished 6-for-11 from the field with five three-pointers and three assists off the bench.

Junior Shane Johannsen had eight points, while Cameron Jones and Josh Lepley each contributed eight points in the game.

NAU went on a 22-9 run to start the second half over a eight-minute period, taking a 43-42 lead with 11:23 left in the game. The Lumberjacks built the lead to four points but failed to hold the advantage.

“Once we got the lead we got careless with the ball and had four straight turnovers,” said Adras. “I think we could have distanced ourselves in those four possessions.”

The Rams tied the game at 46 on a pair of free throws by Dorian Green with 9:07 left and took the lead on a layup by Greg Smith on the next possession.

CSU, which never trailed the rest of the game, out-scored the Lumberjacks 18-10 to finish the game.

The Rams were led by a game-high 22 points from Travis Franklin. Green finished with 18 points and Smith had a double-double off the bench with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Adras pointed to the advantage at the free throw stripe with CSU taking 23 more attempts (38 to 15) and making 19 more attempts (28 to 9) as a key factor in the game.

NAU will break for the holidays before returning to action on Dec. 28 in its final non-conference road contest of the year at Texas Pan American. The Lumberjacks return to Flagstaff to host Northern New Mexico on Dec. 30 before restarting Big Sky Conference play on Jan. 2.