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December 28, 2009

Men’s Basketball Holds on Against UTPA, Second Half Rally

EDINBURG, Texas – Shane Johannsen grabbed the decisive rebound and hit a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left in the game as Northern Arizona held on to defeat Texas- Pan American 64-59 at the UTPA Fieldhouse.

NAU, which led by 21 points in the first minute of the second half, had its lead cut down to a single point at 58-57 on a pair of free throws by Jared Marie with 2:24 left in the game. Nick Larson’s jumper extended the lead back to three points, representing NAU’s only basket in the final nine minutes of the game.

The Lumberjacks forced a missed jumper only to turn the ball over and foul UTPA’s Nick Weiermiller, who made both free throws to pull within one for the second time at 60-59 with 1:10 on the clock. After another NAU turnover with 35 seconds left, the Broncs had a chance to take the lead and win the game but Weiermiller’s shot missed and was grabbed by Johannsen.

NAU finished the game with four consecutive free throws, going 16-for-20 for the game from the charity stripe. The Lumberjacks made 11-of-12 overall in the second half at the line.

“We dictated what we wanted to do in the first half and lot of guys contributed,” said Head Coach Mike Adras. “The switch flipped and they started making plays. We played not to lose in the second half. You have to go out there and win the game. Fortunately we hit big free throws and got big rebounds down the stretch.”

Junior Cameron Jones had a game-high 25 points in the game with six rebounds. Johannsen finished with 18 points on 6-fo-8 afternoon from the field and the free throw line with five rebounds. Larson had a game-high nine rebounds to go with six points.

“Nick played very well for us,” said Adras. “He had an outstanding game.”

After out-scoring the Broncs 39-21 in the first half, NAU was out-scored 38-25 in the second half. NAU shot just 30 percent (7-for-23) while UTPA missed just four times in the second half, going 13-for-17 from the field with two of the misses in the final 16 seconds of the game.

NAU (5-7) won its third non-conference road game of the year after going winless in seven non-conference road games in 2008-09.

NAU jumped out to a big advantage in the first half behind a 65 percent half from the field. The Lumberjacks made 15-of-23 shot behind Jones’ 15 points and 9 points from Johannsen, leading by as many as 20 points over the first 20 minutes.

NAU returns home for its final regular season non-conference game against Northern New Mexico on Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 6:35 p.m. It will be the final tune-up for the Lumberjack before the restart of Big Sky Conference play on Saturday, Jan. 2 against Northern Colorado.

Upcoming Promotions

Wednesday, Dec. 30 @ 6:30 p.m. vs. Northern New Mexico
City of Flagstaff Personnel Night
If you work for the City of Flagstaff bring your city ID to the box office to purchase a $5.00 reserved seat ticket!

Sat., Jan. 2 @ 6:30 p.m. vs. Northern Colorado (Big Sky Conference)
Flagstaff Medical Center and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Night
Show your FMC ID or BCBS card at the box office to purchase a $5.00 reserved seat ticket!