FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team will play its final non-conference home game Wednesday night against Air Force before taking a break over the holidays. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at the Rolle Activity Center.
The game is Veterans and Military Appreciation Night. All veterans and military personnel receive $5.00 general admission tickets.
The Lumberjacks return home from a two-game Pac-10 Conference swing that includes losses at USC and Arizona. NAU lost the two games by a combined 13 points. The Lumberjacks have had a six-day break after dropping a 63-58 decision at Arizona.
"I think we have had a great non-conference when you look at the fact we have lost to two Pac-10 teams, a Big 10 team and a Missouri Valley team," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "We have won three road games and certainly have played well in almost every game. It speaks volume of the guys in the program. I am pleased with what we have done in the preseason."
The Lumberjacks will face an Air Force squad with a two-game win streak and a 7-2 overall record. The Falcons hosted Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 18, winning 63-52. Four players average double figures led by Michael Lyons, who leads the team with 13.7 points per game.
"They are playing very well," said Adras. "They have some experience. I recognize the guys we played last year. They are all back. They shoot and share the ball well. They are a Mountain West Conference team coming in with a lot of confidence."
NAU defeated Air Force on the road last season. Shane Johannsen scored a game-high 17 points to lead the team to a 60-52 victory. The Lumberjacks took the lead for good after tying the game at 27 with a 9-3 run early in the second half. They extended it to double digits late in the game, leading by as many as 11 points with 3:22 left but Air Force cut the lead to four at 54-50 with 46 seconds left in the game. NAU held off the late charge with clutch foul shooting down the stretch.
"We had a heck of a game at their place last year and I would expect the same this year," said Adras.
The Lumberjacks will break for the holidays before returning Dec. 26 to start preparation for the Big Sky Conference opener against Montana on Dec. 29. Adras hopes his team will remained focused.
"It is something I need to talk about," said Adras about looking forward to the holiday break. "We have spent the last couple days focusing on ourselves and trying to get better. That has been our focus. They need to understand we have a game to play. The break starts after the game. It is something every school faces and I hope that our young men understand what the moment is about."
DID YOU KNOW… The Northern Arizona University athletics department recorded a cumulative grade point average of 3.07 GPA among its more than 300 student-athletes at the completion of the spring semester. It marked the 12th semester out of the last 13 overall that the Lumberjack student-athletes have recorded a 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher. Since 1998, NAU student athletes have earned a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher in 22 out of 24 semesters.