FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team plays host to Sacramento State Saturday night at the Rolle Activity Center, wrapping up a three-game Big Sky homestand. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
"I have always said you have to take care of your business at home," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "In every game in league there is probably more pressure on the home team than the road team."
The Lumberjacks are coming off a 68-67 defeat against Weber State last week, dropping their conference record to 1-3 with their first home loss of the season. NAU is 9-7 overall.
"We have been fighting hard the previous two games," said sophomore guard Gabe Rogers. "We can't really let this game slip away from us."
Sacramento State is 3-12 on the season with a 0-4 mark in conference play. The Hornets travel to Ogden to play Weber State on Thursday night before traveling to Flagstaff.
"I think we will have a pretty good feel of what they are about and what they are going to try to accomplish to be successful and hopefully we can throw some wrinkles at them that will cause some problems," said Adras.
NAU leads the all-time series 27-9 with Sacramento State, including 16-2 mark in games in Flagstaff. The Lumberjacks have won the last six meetings and 10 of the last 11 overall in the series. Sacramento State's last victory in the series came at home in 2006-07. Adras owns a 17-6 career mark against the Hornets, including a 9-3 mark in Flagstaff.
Sacramento State entered the season with just five years of Div. I experience on its roster, which is tied for the second fewest in the nation among all 345 Div. I squads. Sultan Toles-Bey, John Dickson and Duro Bjegovic each have one year of Div. I experience having played for the Hornets last season. Eastern Washington (4) has the fewest years of experience, followed by Sacramento State (5) and UT Arlington (5), Idaho (6), Radford (6) and Cal State Fullerton (6).
"They have some talented returners that are playing very well for them," said Adras. "Toles-Bay is capable of being one of the better outside shooters in our league. Duro Bjegovic has done a good job of scoring both inside and outside for them. Both are guys we are familiar with since they played in the league last year, as well as Dixon. They are relying heavily on their three returning players."
The Lumberjacks have had the entire week to prepare before playing a pair of league games on the road next week at Eastern Washington and Portland State.
"It is the last game before we go on the road and we would like to go out with a little momentum," said Adras. "This is a big game for us. I say that about every game but there is some significance to it."
The game can be heard on the Lumberjack Radio Network on 105.1 FM The Big Talker and will be shown live on Universityhouse and Fox College Sports. Fans can listen or watch the game on the internet at www.bigtalkerradio.com and www.bigskytv.org.
The game will feature a pregame reception for members of the Lumberjack Athletic Association.