Men’s Basketball Posts Exhibition Win over Western New Mexico
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team recorded a 93-71 victory Wednesday over Western New Mexico at the Rolle Activity Center. It was the only scheduled exhibition for the team before opening the season Nov. 12 against Louisiana-Lafayette at the Hilltop Challenge hosted by the University of San Francisco.
"There were moments that I really liked tonight and then there were moments of too many turnovers and not taking care of the ball that we have to get better at," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "For the first time in a game situation with the lights on, you have got to feel good about walking away from a 22-point win."
The Lumberjacks played 14 players in the contest, including 10 who played their first game in a NAU uniform. NAU shot 50.7 percent for the game but had 21 turnovers on the night.
Junior Ephraim Ekanem posted a double-double with a team-high 16 points and 10 rebounds. He was one of five players in double figures. James Douglas added 15 off the bench and Colin Gruber netted 12 in his first collegiate game. Junior Stallon Saldivar had seven points, five rebounds and a team-best five assists against no turnovers. Gaellen Bewernick and Max Jacobsen each contributed 10 points to the winning effort.
NAU led 22-16 at the midway point of the first half before going on a 12-0 run to extend the lead to 18 with 5:30 left. The Lumberjacks took an 18-point lead into the locker room at the half.
Western New Mexico cut the lead to eight over the first three minutes of the second half and trailed by only 10 at 57-47 at the 12:55 mark. A 9-0 run by the Lumberjack extended the lead back out to 19, finished off with a huge dunk by Douglas to give NAU a 66-47 lead.
T.J. Riley led the Mustangs with 22 points.