FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Senior forward Shane Johannsen scored 18 points and senior guard Eric Platt hit four three-pointers to lead Northern Arizona to a 79-58 victory over Sacramento State Saturday night at the Rolle Activity Center.
Johannsen made his first eight shots from the field, including 15 points and d 7-for-7 effort in the first half, to go with a team-high tying six rebounds and game-high three blocks.
"We did a great job of getting him the ball," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "Certainly Shane caught it and knew what to do with it when he got the ball."
Adras credited the ball distribution by his team that resulted in 24 assists on 29 baskets with only 11 turnovers.
"We did a very nice job of distributing the ball tonight and finding open guys," said Adras.
Platt, who was 0-pfor-4 from beyond the arc over the last three games, finished with 15 points off the bench. He went 3-for-4 in the first 20 minutes from three and hit four overall in a 5-for-9 night from the field.
"I am happy for him," said Adras. "He spent a lot time this week putting up extra shots on the shooting machine. It is supposed to pay off. He was rewarded tonight. I think it got us going in the first half and built a lead for us."
Cameron Jones led the Lumberjacks with 19 points, while guard Stallon Saldivar had 10 assists with only a single turnover. Sophomores Gabe Rogers and Austin Smith each added eight points to the winning effort.
NAU (10-7, 2-3 Big Sky) only trailed in the opening minutes and built a 10-point lead behind back-to-back three-pointers by Platt midway into the first half. The Hornets cut the lead to five on buckets by John Dickson and a three-pointer by Sultan Toles-Bey but never got any closer.
The Lumberjacks held a nine-point advantage at the half, quickly extending the lead into double digits in the second half. NAU shot 53 percent in the second half and finished the game at an even 50 percent, shooting 28-for-59. The Hornets were held to 38 percent for the game from the field.
"I thought our defense was the difference in the ball game in the second half," said Adras. "We got stops and converted making a relatively close game got unreachable. I think the defense was what spurred on that offensive effort."
Sacramento State (3-14, 0-6) had four players in double figures led by Toles-Bey.
NAU defeated the Hornets for the 12th consecutive time overall in the series. They hit the road this week for a pair of games at Eastern Washington and Portland State. Tipoff Thursday against the Eagles is set for 8:05 p.m. The game against the Vikings on Saturday can be seen on the Altitude Network at 6:05 p.m. Both games can be heard on 105.1 FM The Big Talker and www.bigtalkerradio.com.