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Men’s Basketball Defeats Eastern on Rogers’ Three in Overtime

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Redshirt freshman Gabe Rogers hit two three-pointers in overtime including the game winner with one second left to give Northern Arizona a 74-71 victory over Eastern Washington Saturday night. The win clinched a postseason berth for the Lumberjacks in the Big Sky Tournament to be held March 6-10.

“Coach and Cameron (Jones) told me to keep shooting,” said Jones.

Rogers hit his first three-pointer of the extra period with 1:07 left, giving the Lumberjacks a 70-69 lead. After a turnover by the Eagles, DeAngelo Jones hit one-of-two free throws to extend the lead to two points with 21 seconds left. Eastern Washington then tied the game on a layup by Glen Dean with 10 seconds left, setting up Rogers’ final attempt for the win.

Rogers, who was scoreless in the first half, had 12 points in the second half and six in the overtime. He finished 6-for-13 for the game and 4-for-11 from three with three assists in 40 minutes of action. He recorded a career-high 20 points in the double overtime win over Portland State on Thursday, hitting a pair of three-pointers in the second overtime.

Eagle senior Benny Valentine forced the overtime period with a basket with 16 seconds left. NAU had a chance to win the game in regulation but Julian Olubuyi’s jumper was off the mark.

Junior Cameron Jones had a game-high 23 points for the Lumberjacks. Junior Shane Johannsen had his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-best 13 rebounds.

NAU shot 44.8 percent for the game but struggled at the line, hitting just 53 percent (14-for-26) and only 1-of-6 from the charity stripe in overtime.

Senior Nick Larson, who was playing in his final regular season home game, scored eight points and had eight rebounds. He added a key three-pointer in the overtime while playing with four fouls.

NAU played its third consecutive overtime game, a school record, and fourth in five games. The Lumberjacks defeated Portland State on Thursday in double overtime.

The Lumberjacks clinched the fifth seed in the Big Sky Tournament and will play at the No. 4 seed. Northern Colorado will be the No. 2 seed with a win or a Montana loss. Northern Colorado can be no worse than the No. 3 seed. Montana will be the No. 2 seed with a win and a Northern Colorado loss. Montana will be the No. 3 seed with win and a Northern Colorado win. Montana will be the No. 4 seed with a loss to Montana State.  Montana State will either be the No. 3 or No. 4 seed. If MSU beats Montana, MSU is No. 3. If MSU loses, the Bobcats are No. 4.

NAU plays at Sacramento State on Friday night in its final regular season game and will travel to play either Montana or Montana State on March 6.  The winner advances to the championship site in Ogden, Utah.

DID YOU KNOW…The Northern Arizona University athletics department recorded its highest cumulative grade point average since 1997, recording a 3.16 GPA among its more than 300 student-athletes at the completion of the fall of 2009 semester.

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