FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Northern Arizona University men's basketball team will take on Alabama State at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott.
"This is a new, exciting venue for our team," said head coach Mike Adras. "This will be a chance to showcase our basketball program and our university. It is a nice opportunity to bring the Prescott community and Flagstaff community closer together."
The game is part of the Global Sports Hy-Vee Challenge that includes Creighton, Iowa State and Kennesaw State.
NAU is coming off a two-game road trip at Iowa State and Creighton. The Lumberjacks dropped both contests but showed progress between games, losing by only four Sunday to the Bluejays 74-70.
"I hope we play well and continue to get better," said Adras. "I told our guys that our improvement from game one to game two was significant. If we improve that much, hopefully we will win the ball game."
The game is the unofficial home opener for the Lumberjacks despite its neutral site status. It is the first neutral site game for NAU in Arizona since the Lumberjacks played in Whiteriver, Ariz., in 1998-99, hosting Colorado College in the Hon-Dah Classic.
NAU has forged a partnership with Yavapai College and the town of Prescott Valley to bring baccalaureate degrees within the reach of area residents. NAU-Yavapai welcomed its first class of freshmen to campus this fall. NAU President Dr. John Haeger hoped the game could bring "more of what NAU has to offer to the Prescott community".
Located less than a mile from the NAU-Yavapai campus, Tim's Toyota Center is home to the Central Hockey League's Arizona Sun Dogs and Arizona Adrenaline indoor football team, and seats 5,100 for sporting events.
"I am looking forward to taking the team down," said Adras. "There are a lot of Lumberjack fans that live there."
The Lumberjacks will face an Alabama State team that enters with an identical 0-2 mark after losses at Creighton and Iowa State. The Hornets play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
NAU will recognize former Bradshaw Mountain product Matt Lyon prior to the contest. Lyon, who was a 2002 graduate of Bradshaw Mountain and played for coach Doug Beilfuss, was a member of the Lumberjack basketball team from 2002-05, earning two letters. He was a two-time Golden Eagle Scholar-Athlete recipient and a 2005 NABC Honor Roll recipient.
Tickets for the game range from $9 to $40, and are available online and via telephone at 1-866-443-8849. Tickets also may be purchased at the box office at Tim's Toyota Center on Tuesday starting at 10 a.m.