FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Senior Durrell Norman is excited to lead his team on the road Saturday at defending Big Sky Conference Champion Northern Colorado for a New Year's Eve tipoff against the Bears at 7:35 p.m. at Butler Hancock Pavilion.
"Going up to Northern Colorado is big," said Norman. "It is the place that our season ended last year and remember being in that locker room and there was a lot of pain. We have not got a win up there in a little while and we did not win there last year. We want to get after it up there."
NAU (5-8, 1-0 BSC) and Northern Colorado have met 14 previous times with the series tied at 7-7. NAU has lost its last six games in Greeley and owns a 2-6 all-time mark on the road against the Bears.
The Bears and Lumberjacks have played some tight games recently. The last eight games in the series have been decided by a total of 39 points with five games decided by three or less points. The last six games in Greeley have been decided by just 18 points with the two last season by a combined four points. The Bears eliminated NAU in the Big Sky Tournament semifinals last season 73-70.
"It is important to hold your home court down but it is also important to get wins on the road," said Norman. "Going to Northern Colorado for the first conference road game, it would be great to come away with a victory."
Norman has been playing the best basketball of his career. Norman has posted the top three scoring outputs in his career over the last three contests. He notched a career-high 16 points in the upset win over Arizona State and then reset his career high again three days later with 18 at Sam Houston State with a career-high 13 rebounds to record his second double-double of the season. He then scored 15 in the Big Sky opener against Sacramento State on Thursday. He is averaging 16.3 points per game and 8.3 rebounds during the stretch.
The Bears are 3-8 on the season and have lost three in a row after dropping a pre-Christmas contest against Colorado State. NAU serves as the Big Sky Conference opener for Northern Colorado, the defending Big Sky Conference champions. UNC is just 1-4 at home this season. Tate Unruh is the leading scorer for the Bears at 13.1 points per game.
The game can be heard on the Lumberjack Radio Network on 105.1 FM The Big Talker in Flagstaff, Prescott and Sedona and online via The Big Talker website and their mobile app. It will also be available online via Big Sky TV.