Photo by Mark Toma/Kennesaw State
KENNESAW, Ga. – Shane Johannsen scored 14 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds to help Northern Arizona post a 74-66 road victory over Kennesaw State in the final game of the Global Sports Hy-Vee Challenge. NAU improved to 3-2 on the season and went 2-2 in the multi-team event.
NAU jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the game with Johannsen grabbing four of his nine first-half rebounds and added a block in the run. The Lumberjacks never trailed in the contest and led by as many as 13 points in the first half. Kennesaw State stayed in the game with a big half at the line, making 15 of 17 attempts while NAU made just 2 of 6.
"We were excited coming into the game and we wanted to focus on defense and limit them to one shot," said Johannsen. "We played defense and ran it to them in transition."
The Owls pulled within three points twice in the second half but the Lumberjacks failed to surrender the lead with Cameron Jones hitting buckets each time to halt the threats. NAU shot 49 percent from the field for the game and made 9 of 14 in the second half at the charity stripe to seal the game.
Johannsen reset his single-game mark for rebounds with 17 (13 at Eastern Washington in 2010), recording his third double-digit rebounding game of his career and third career double-double with his 14-point effort.
"It was one of those games where it felt like every ball was bouncing my direction," said Johannsen. "I capitalized on that and made sure I was pursuing the ball."
Senior Cameron Jones led the Lumberjacks with 20 points, going 9-for-17 from the field with a pair of three-pointers. Sophomore Stallon Saldivar added a career-best 10 points with senior guard Eric Platt equaling his output among the four in double figures.
Kennesaw State (2-3) was led by 23 points by Spencer Dixon with Kelvin McConnell chipping in 13 points.
"Northern Arizona is a good basketball team. They shot well from the floor consistently, from three and they rebounded solidly," said Owl head coach Tony Ingle. "They jumped out to a quick lead at the beginning of the game and I thought we battled back very well at times to make it a ballgame. We got some very good production from our bench, collectively, we just didn't play team defense the way we need to."
NAU is off for the Thanksgiving break before returning to the court this weekend at Pepperdine on Sunday, Nov. 28 with tipoff scheduled for 2 p.m. from Malibu.
"It good to end this stretch on top and we have almost a week now to our next game," said Johannsen. "We can breathe easy and come up for air and get ready to get back after it."