Rock the Rolle: Men’s Basketball Hosts Texas Pan-American
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team will continue its two-game home stand Wednesday night when they play host to Texas-Pan American at 6:35 p.m. in the Rolle Activity Center. The Lumberjacks have won six consecutive games for the first time since 2007-08 and are looking to extend the streak to seven against the Broncs.
The game can be seen on Universityhouse (Dish Network 9411) and Fox College Sports, as well as www.bigskytv.org. Fans can hear the Lumberjack Radio Network on 105.1 FM The Big Talker and on the internet at www.bigtalkerradio.com.
"We are in a good mindset right now and we want to continue playing the way that we have established over the last couple weeks," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "I think we are playing very good defense, getting transition buckets and executing in the half court as well. It is a combination of our solid defense and our sharing the basketball on the offensive end."
NAU ranks third in the country in three-point field goal percentage at 45.7 in the NCAA rankings released on Dec. 5. The Lumberjacks were also fifth in assists (19.3), eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.56) and 14th in field goal percentage (49.8). Sophomore Gabe Rogers (16th) and senior Eric Platt (22nd) both ranked among the national leaders in three-point percentage, while sophomore Stallon Saldivar is 19th in assists and third in assist-to-turnover ratio.
NAU has an average winning margin of 19.3 points during the streak.
Texas Pan-American (3-6) is coming off a home win over Victory University on Sunday night. The Broncs won 101-94 after trailing by 10 points in the second half. Ruben Cabrera's three-point play with 1:06 remaining in regulation was the key play down the stretch. The win was the second straight at home for UTPA but they have lost both road contests this season.
"They remind me a lot of Pepperdine," said Adras. "Their guards are their top scorers and the big guys are capable of scoring. Their top three guards score a lot of points for them and they are a perimeter shooting team. They are pretty good at shooting the three ball."
Sophomore guard Aaron Urbanus, who is shooting 52 percent from beyond the three-point arc, is the leading scorer for the team at 15.0 points per game, while senior Perry Petty, a transfer from Santa Clara, scores 14.4 ppg. Guard Brandon Provost also a threat beyond the arc at 46 percent for the season.
The two schools met in 2009-10 with NAU pulling out a 64-59 victory at the UTPA Fieldhouse. Shane Johannsen grabbed a decisive rebound and hit a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left in the game to seal the victory. NAU, which led by 21 points in the first minute of the second half, had its lead cut down to a single point at 58-57 on a pair of free throws by Jared Marie with 2:24 left in the game. Nick Larson's jumper extended the lead back to three points, representing NAU's only basket in the final nine minutes of the game.