SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team lost its third straight game at the Hilltop Challenge, losing to North Dakota State 70-58 Sunday.
It is the first 0-3 start since the 1990-91 season.
The Lumberjacks fell behind by 21 in the opening half while shooting just 26 percent. North Dakota State made 15 of their 20 shots in the first half and five three-pointers to take a 43-22 lead at the half.
NAU outscored the Bison by nine in the second half, cutting the final margin to 12 at the buzzer.
Freshman Danny Cheek led the team with 10 points off the bench in 21 minutes. The Lumberjacks combined for just 32 points by its starters led by nine points from Durrell Norman. Freshman Colin Gruber added eight points.
NAU shot just 35.7 percent for the game, while North Dakota State connected on 60 percent of their shots.
Mike Felt scored a game-high 17 points for North Dakota State among three players in double figures.
North Dakota State went on a 19-5 run early in the game to build a 12-point lead six minutes into the contest and finished the half with a 10-2 run to extend the lead to 21 points.
NAU returns to Flagstaff for two games over the next 10 days. They play Arizona Christian (formerly Southwestern) in the home opener on Friday night at 6:35 p.m at the Rolle Activity Center looking for their first win of the 2011-12 campaign.