POCATELLO, Idaho – Idaho
State survived with 73-71 victory in overtime over Northern Arizona
with an important Big Sky victory Saturday at Reed Gym in
Pocatello. NAU had overcome a 15-point deficit and forced overtime
on a last second layup by DeAngelo Jones at the buzzer.
“We did a terrific job of giving ourselves a chance to win the ball game,” said Head Coach Mike Adras. “I could not be more proud of our guys. We battled when we were in deep trouble in the last minute of regulation. Somehow we found a way to give ourselves a chance even with the mistakes we made to get it to overtime.”
Idaho State scored the first five points of the overtime to lead 69-64 but gave the Lumberjacks chances in the final minute to stay in the game. Gabe Rogers had a three-point attempt go off the front of the rim with 18 seconds left with NAU trailing 71-69.
“We did not quit and gave a good effort,” said Adras. “There it was. We had the shot to take the lead. We just did not knock it down.”
After 1-of-2 free throws by Amorrow Morgan, DeAngelo Jones was fouled on a three-pointer with four seconds left with NAU trailing 72-69. Jones missed the first and made the second attempt, forcing an intentional miss to extend the game with an offensive rebound. Jones’ attempt banked in pulling the Lumberjacks within one point.
“Without the way he played in the game we are not even in that position,” said Adras of DeAngelo Jones after the game. “It is hard for him to understand at this point. He can only think about the free throws at the end of the ball game. I feel sorry for our guys because they put up a big effort in the second half.”
ISU’s Broderick Gilchrest made one of two free throw attempts after being fouled by Reid Wallace. NAU had one final chance with 1.8 left on the clock. Wallace’s long pass was caught by DeAngelo Jones and his three-pointer was off to the right of the rim.
Cameron Jones led the Lumberjacks with 22 points. Shane Johannsen contributed 18 and Rogers had 10 points in the contest. DeAngelo Jones finished with eight points, five rebounds and six assists. Senior Nick Larson had a career-high 12 rebounds with eight points and four assists.
NAU fell behind by 15 points in the first half and trailed by 11 at halftime. The Bengals shot 65 percent in the first half. Morgan scored 11 for ISU in the first half off the bench and finished with 15 points. Gilchrest led the Bengals with 21 points.
The Lumberjacks cut the ISU lead to one with an 11-2 run to pull within 39-38 at the 12:32 mark of the second half. ISU then scored the next nine points to lead by 10 again with 8:34 left. NAU cut away at the lead the rest of the half.
Larson had five points down the stretch, including a three-pointer with 1:21 left. Cameron Jones’ three-pointer with 12 seconds left pulled the game within one at 62-61. After a free throw by Austin Kilpatrick, Julian Olubuyi was fouled with six seconds left. He hit one of two attempts and NAU got the ball back when the rebound bounced out of bounds off a Bengal player. NAU forced the overtime with a basket at the buzzer off an in-bounds play to DeAngelo Jones with four seconds left.
NAU drops to 11-13 on the season, 5-8 in Big Sky play to lead Idaho State (7-18, 4-9 Big Sky) by one game in the standings for sixth place overall heading into the final two weeks of play. Eastern Washington (3-8) plays host to Montana on Sunday in the Big Sky Game of the Week. The top six teams qualify for the Big Sky Tournament.
The Lumberjacks host Portland State and Eastern Washington this week in the final two regular season home games before finishing the season on the road at Sacramento State.
DID YOU KNOW…Overall, 44 student-athletes earned a 4.0 GPA for the fall semester, representing 14 of the 15 squads. The soccer team led the department with eight student-athletes with a 4.0 GPA for the semester.