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February 23, 2011

Men’s Basketball Makes Push for Postseason at Sacramento State

Game Notes vs. Sacramento State (PDF)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team travels on the road to play Sacramento State on Thursday at 8:05 p.m. at Hornet Gym. The Lumberjacks are looking to clinch a spot in the Big Sky Conference Tournament and the chance to host a quarterfinal final game at the Rolle Activity Center.

"Hopefully we use the Cal Poly win as momentum and we have played well in the state of California," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "We need that to continue. There is a lot at stake. Every team in the league with the exception of Portland State is playing for something right now."

Northern Arizona, Montana State, Eastern Washington, Idaho State and Sacramento State are all still in the hunt for the final three spots. Just one victory separates fifth place from ninth place. Eastern Washington and Sacramento State are both seeking tournament bids for the first time since 2006.

"Sacramento State's back is up against the wall," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "They have to win their remaining three games and we are one of those games. They have to win this game but we have to win this game too."

The Lumberjacks can clinch a Big Sky Conference Tournament berth with a win over the Hornets. Both Eastern Washington and Montana State need to lose again before NAU can clinch the home game. The two teams meet on Thursday in Cheney.

The Lumberjacks bring a two-game winning streak into the matchup with Sacramento State and have won six of eight overall.

Adras will rely on his seniors to lead the team over the final two weeks.

"Those guys have got to produce," said Adras. "If you look at the other night and it was Cam (Jones), Shane (Johannsen) and Eric (Platt) who really did a majority of the damage. And we need Julian Olubuyi to come in and play some very god defense and DeAngelo Jones is back this week. Hopefully he will go out and play like he has recently."

NAU leads the all-time series 28-9, including 17-2 in games in Flagstaff and 11-7 in Sacramento. The Lumberjacks have won the last seven meetings and 11 of the last 12 overall in the series. Sacramento State's last victory in the series came at home in 2006-07 and the last victory in Flagstaff was in 2004-05. The Lumberjacks have won seven straight at home against the Hornets. Mike Adras owns a 18-6 career mark against the Hornets with a 10-3 mark in Flagstaff and 8-3 record in Sacramento.