Men’s Basketball Drops Air Force in Final Non-Conference Tilt
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Senior forward Shane Johannsen recorded a double-double to lead Northern Arizona to a 74-63 victory over the Air Force Academy Wednesday night at the Rolle Activity Center in the final game before the holiday break.
"Air Force is a very good team and plays with great discipline," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "You have to be able to match that discipline and I thought we did that tonight. We played within ourselves and did what we needed to do both offensively and defensively."
NAU, which is undefeated at home this season at 4-0, shot 54.5 percent from the field, including a sparkling 57 percent in the opening half while holding the Falcons to just 39 percent in the opening 20 minutes.
The game was close for the first 12 minutes before the Lumberjacks went on a 12-2 over the next six minutes to build a double-digit lead.
"I thought we had different guys contribute during the run," said Adras, who credited Stallon Saldivar for his passing, Gabe Rogers' driving layups and solid post-ups down low by Austin Smith during the run. "There were a variety of guys that contributed during that stretch that enabled us to create that lead."
Johannsen posted a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, recording his second double-double of the season and fourth of his career.
"It is nice to get this win heading into the break and Big Sky play," said Johannsen. "Defensive rebounds were the key because we do not want to give it right back to them after their long possessions on offense."
Johannsen led the Lumberjacks with seven defensive rebounds among the 25 recorded by the team.
"He certainly did play well and we need games like that from Shane," said Adras.
Cameron Jones, who passed the 1,200 career-point mark during the game, led the Lumberjacks with a game-high 19 points, while Saldivar provided a career-best 11 points with seven assists and four rebounds. Eric Platt added 12 points off the bench for the Lumberjacks.
NAU led by as many as 15 points in the second half but Air Force (7-3) fought to the final minute, cutting the lead down to nine points twice late in the game. But, the Lumberjacks were solid at the free throw line, making 18-of-23 in the second half.
The Lumberjacks break for the holiday before returning to practice on Dec. 26. NAU travels to Montana to open Big Sky play against the Grizzlies on Dec. 29 with a special 1 p.m. matinee tipoff from Missoula.
DID YOU KNOW…The Northern Arizona University athletics department recorded its highest cumulative grade point average since 1997, recording a 3.16 GPA among its more than 300 student-athletes at the completion 2009 fall semester.