PORTLAND, Ore. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team shot 59 percent from the field to defeat Portland State 71-59 Saturday at the Stott Center in the Big Sky Game of the Week.
"I thought we played a great game from start to finish," said senior guard Cameron Jones. "We played hard and everything seems to go our way when we play hard."
The Lumberjacks jumped out to a 14-2 advantage over the first 6:19 of the game behind baskets by four different players and led by as many as 18 points in the first half. Eight different players scored in the opening half led by nine points by Cameron Jones and eight by DeAngelo Jones.
"Coach wanted us to come out with energy and play Lumberjack basketball," said sophomore Gabe Rogers. "We started playing some defense and our bigs did a good job on the glass."
NAU (11-8, 3-4 Big Sky) held the Vikings to just 20 percent from the floor to start the game and forced 13 turnovers. PSU went 5-for-24 from the field in the first half.
Portland State (10-9, 3-4) cut the lead to 10 points at 43-33 with 13:53 left in the game but the Lumberjacks responded with a 15-5 run of their own. Cameron Jones scored seven straight points during the stretch with Shane Johannsen adding a dunk and Rogers hitting a three-pointer, forcing a Viking timeout. PSU never got any closer in the game.
"I think we play our best when we play with a lead," said Jones. "Teams are going to go on runs and I think we handled it very well."
NAU, which ranked 12th in the nation in field goal percentage entering the game, shot 65 percent in the second half. They hit 15-of-23 shots from the field for the half and finished the game with eight three pointers.
Cameron Jones had a game-high 25 points for the Lumberjacks, going 10-for-15 from the field and 3-for-3 from three-point distance. He added seven rebounds and four assists in 36 minutes.
Sophomore Gabe Rogers had 16 points, while senior DeAngelo Jones contributed eight points. Senior Shane Johannsen had a career-high tying five blocks and sophomore Stallon Saldivar added eight assists.
Charles Odom led the Vikings with 16 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
The Vikings shot 38 percent for the game and finished with 16 turnovers.
NAU does not play for nine days before hosting Big Sky-leading Northern Colorado on Jan. 31 at 6:35 p.m. at the Rolle Activity Center. It is the first of three Big Sky games that week including contests against Montana State (Feb. 3) and Montana (Feb. 5).