FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team will debut its seven newcomers Friday night against Arizona Christian. The Lumberjacks are hosting Arizona Christian (formerly Southwestern) for the third consecutive season. Friday is "Military Appreciation Night" with a Buy One-Get One ticket offer for any military member with valid ID. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
"We want to get on the winning path," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "We had time to evaluate how we performed last weekend and make some necessary changes. Hopefully we will be able to make those corrections and see some improvement individually and as a team."
Arizona Christian and NAU are meeting for the third consecutive season. The Eagles served as the season opener for the Lumberjacks in 2009-10. Five players scored in double figures led by Eric Platt's 26 points in a 113-61. The 113 points were a school record for a season opener, surpassing the mark of 110 set against Adams State in 1984 and ranked as the 12th-best single-game total in school history. Last season, Eric Platt scored a career-high 28 points to lead NAU's 97-47 victory in their home opener.
The top three scorers for the Lumberjacks are newcomers to the program and are true freshmen. James Douglas leads the team with 11.3 points per game, while Colin Gruber and Danny Cheek are tied for second at 8.3 points per game.
"Those guys have had opportunities to score," said Adras. "We need to get some productivity from some other guys as well. Hopefully we can develop some consistency in our scoring."
NAU has enters the game with two winning streaks on the line. They won seven consecutive home games at the Rolle Activity Center and posted 32 straight regular season victories over Non-Division I competition dating to a loss to Concordia (Calif.) in 1994-95 by the score of 67-73.
NAU is coming off its third straight loss last Sunday to North Dakota State 70-58. 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. Cheek led the team with 10 points off the bench in 21 minutes.
The game can be heard on the Lumberjack Radio Network on 105.1 FM The Big Talker and online via The Big Talker website and their mobile app. Fans outside of Flagstaff can catch all the action on Big Sky TV online.