FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – After
playing eight of the last nine games on the road, the Northern
Arizona men’s basketball team begins a four-game homestand
starting Wednesday against Northern New Mexico. Tipoff is scheduled
for 6:35 p.m. at the Walkup Skydome.
“What I asked Santa for is, ‘I just want a healthy team’,” said Head Coach Mike Adras. “I will take four home games on top of that, sure.”
Junior forward DeAngelo Jones (groin) only played three minutes at Texas-Pan American and junior guard Eric Platt has missed the last eight games. Both players participated in a limited practice at the Walkup Skydome after the team returned from Texas Tuesday afternoon and are game-time decisions for Wednesday.
Northern New Mexico comes to Flagstaff for the second consecutive season. NAU defeated the Eagles 80-39 behind the first career double-double of senior Zarko Comagic last December. The 39 points scored by Northern New Mexico were the fewest allowed by the Lumberjacks since the 1979-80 season.
Northern New Mexico is a NAIA school from Espanola, N.M. They enter the game with four-game losing streak and a 2-8 overall record including a loss at Montana State 103-54 on Dec. 12.
“The good news is we are home and it is the last non-conference game of the year,” said Adras, whose team is 5-5 in non-league play. “The game is significant to us because are playing a winning non-conference mark and we want to go into the league on a little bit of a roll.”
NAU returns to Big Sky Conference action on Saturday against Northern Colorado.
Junior Shane Johannsen has been one of the key contributors for the Lumberjacks, who have won two of the last three games. He equaled his career-best with 18 points at Texas Pan American on Monday. The junior has notched double figures in three of the last four games, averaging 15.2 points during the stretch.
“The best thing about Monday night is Shane hit two money free throws for us at the end of the ball game,” said Adras. ‘I think it will do a lot for his confidence. It was the culmination of a very solid game for him.”
Johannsen has shot better than 60 percent in five straight games from the field, going 25-for-35 (71.4 percent). He ranks second in the Big Sky in field goal percentage at 63.4 percent and would rank eighth in NCAA Division I but fails to meet the minimum requirement of five made field goals per game (4.5).
The game can be heard on the Lumberjack Radio Network on KAFF AM 930 in Flagstaff and can be seen on Big Sky Television.
The game is 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.