FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Senior guard Eric Platt had 11 points off the bench including three three-pointers to help lead Northern Arizona to a 65-54 victory over Northern Colorado Monday night at the Rolle Activity Center.
Northern Arizona won its second consecutive game to improve to 12-8, 4-4 in Big Sky play, while the Bears dropped their second consecutive game in league play. UNC is 11-9 overall and 7-2 in conference action.
"In the second half we played very well at both ends of the court," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "We played great defense and we got some stops and converted. It was good to see. We practiced that way and I expected us to do that."
Platt scored eight of his 11 points in the second half when the Lumberjacks took control of the game. NAU went on a 10-2 run early in the second half to break open a close game that featured eight ties in the first 22 minutes. The Bears cut the lead to eight points with 5:33 left in the game but never got any closer.
The Lumberjacks had four players in double figures led by senior guard Cameron Jones with 15 points. Sophomore guard Gabe Rogers added 13 points and senior Shane Johannsen had 12 points, six rebounds and four blocks.
Platt finished 3-of-6 from the field, all from three-point distance.
Entering the game, NAU and UNC were both among the top 10 three-point shooting teams in the country but combined to make just 9-of-37 attempts in the game.
Senior Devon Beitzel led the Hearts with 18 points, shooting 7-for-17 from the field and 3-of-10 from beyond the arc.
"They were 18 tough points," said Adras. "He had to earn those points tonight."
NAU shot just 40 percent from the field for the game but were helped by a strong second half. Both teams shot just 35 percent in the first half in a game with 80 rebounds, 12 blocks and 25 turnovers.
NAU trailed by seven late in the first half but went on a 9-2 run to end the half aided by two baskets by Rogers and a steal and layup to end the half by DeAngelo Jones.
"I thought the stretch at the end of the half we ended on a positive note because we were in the tank there for a minute," said Adras. "DeAngelo made a great steal and I think that play really sparked us and gave us momentum in the second half."
NAU plays the second home game of the week Thursday night against Montana State. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:37 p.m. for a game televised by Universityhouse and Fox College Sports. Fans can also listen to the game locally on 105.1 FM The Big Talker or on the internet at www.bigtalkerradio.com or www.bigskytv.org.