PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – Freshman guard Colin Gruber scored 13 points to lead the Northern Arizona men's basketball team, but was the lone Lumberjack to score in double-figures in the Lumberjacks' 87-52 loss to BYU. The two teams played in front of a crowd of 3,215 as part of the 2011 Lumberjack Classic at the Tim's Toyota Center.
NAU jumped out to a 4-0 lead to open the game following buckets by freshman forward Ephraim Ekanem and freshman guard James Douglas, only for the Cougars to respond with a 15-0 run over seven minutes. The Cougars increased their lead to as much as 23 before the first half came to a close, taking a 44-21 lead into halftime.
The Cougars picked up right where they left off to begin the second half, scoring the first six points of the half before Gruber connected on a three-pointer. Gruber's shot snapped a BYU 16-0 run spanning six minutes between the end of the first half and the start of the second. But despite playing the Cougars tough in the second half, the Lumberjacks never got closer than 24 points the rest of the game.
Four Cougars scored in double-digits with Brock Zylstra leading the way with a game-high 23 points on 8-10 shooting and 5-6 behind the arc. Brandon Davies had 14 points, while Noah Hartsock and Nate Austin each had 11 points. Behind Gruber's 13 points, freshman forward Max Jacobsen scored a career-high eight points.
BYU outshot NAU from the field (51.5 percent to 37.7 percent), from three-point range (40 percent to 29.4 percent) and from the free-throw line (90 percent to 50 percent). However, despite a size disadvantage, the Lumberjacks hung in on the glass pulling down 32 rebounds to the Cougars' 38. Senior forward Durrell Norman had six rebounds to lead NAU and senior guard Stallon Saldivar added five. Saldivar also posted a team-high six assists.
The loss dropped the Lumberjacks' record to 2-5 on the season. They will head to Tucson next to take on in-state foe Arizona on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 pm at the McKale Center.