Men’s Basketball Wins Seventh in a Row, Defeats UTPA 68-55
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team won its seventh consecutive game Wednesday with a 68-55 victory over Texas-Pan American at the Rolle Activity Center.
"I felt like we were in control the entire game even when they made a couple buckets in a row," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "We never let them get lengthy periods of feeling good about themselves before we had a response…Once we put it over 15 I think they figured they were in trouble at that point. It was a good battle there for most of the second half."
The Lumberjacks (7-2) never trailed in a game that had 46 fouls and 36 turnovers. NAU shot 42.9 percent from the floor while holding the Broncs to 34 percent including a 2-for-18 performance from beyond the arc. UTPA (3-7) entered the game shooting 38 percent from the three-point arc.
Senior Cameron Jones led the Lumberjacks with 27 points, two shy of his career high. He went 8-for-20 from the field and hit 11-of-13 free throw attempts in the contest. Senior Shane Johannsen scored seven points with a game-high 10 rebounds. Gabe Rogers contributed eight points.
"We got the win which is what we were worried about," said Johannsen. "There were a lot of fouls and lot of turnovers and that is not something that helps us because we like to be an up and down team. It did not work to our advantage."
NAU jumped out to a 10-2 lead early in the game and led by 13 with six minutes left in the half. But the Broncs cut the lead back down to five and trailed by only six at the break. The Lumberjacks made just 9-of-16 free throws in the first half.
"It was a very physical game," said Adras. "I told our guys I thought it reminded me of Big Sky play. If we win games by 13 in the Big Sky I am going to be real happy. It was a very difficult game because there was some sloppiness and physicality from both teams."
UTPA kept the game close for the first 10 minutes of the second half before the Lumberjacks extended the lead back to double digits.
NAU won its seventh game in a row, tied for 11th longest current streak in the nation, and improved to 4-0 at home this season. The Lumberjacks have not won seven in a row since the 2005-06 season.
NAU heads on the road Saturday to face USC in the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The Trojans defeated nationally-ranked Texas on Sunday and are 5-4 on the season with a 4-1 record at home. The game can be heard on the Lumberjack Radio Network on 105.1 FM in Flagstaff and on the internet at www.bigtalkerradio.com. Fans can see the game on Prime Ticket in Los Angeles and Fox Sports Arizona.