FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – After playing six of their last eight games on the road, the Northern Arizona men's basketball is happy to be home. The Lumberjacks play five consecutive Big Sky Conference games at home over the next two weeks as part of a six-game homestand.
"It is good to be home," said junior Michael Dunn. "The first half of the Big Sky we were on the road a lot. It is going to be good to play in the new Rolle in front of our fans. It will also be the first game since school has been back in session. We are excited to play for the fans."
The Lumberjacks are 4-3 at home this season but have won just one of 14 games away from Flagstaff. The 34-point loss at Sacramento State on Saturday was the second largest of the season but the team looks for improved play and confidence at home.
"We have been on the road for it seems forever," said junior Stallon Saldivar. "This is a crucial week if we want any chance of a part of the playoffs. We have to get at least two if not all of them. We are going to take one game at a time and focus on Northern Colorado."
NAU hosts Northern Colorado on Monday before Eastern Washington on Thursday and Portland State on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at the Rolle Activity Center Monday.
"We try not to think about it too much," said Dunn. "We were shocked Saturday night but a loss like that you can't have it in the back of your mind. You have to move on. We have four games over a seven-day span. If we spend our time thinking about the last game, it is not going to help us in the game we have next. We are trying to move forward and grow as a team."
Northern Colorado is 6-13 on the season and has a 3-5 mark in Big Sky play. The Bears are coming off a double-overtime loss at Idaho State on Thursday 99-94. The Bears are last in the conference in scoring defense at 75.3 points per game but lead the league in three-point percentage at 43.8.
NAU and Northern Colorado have met 15 previous times with the Bears leading the series at 8-7. The Bears won the first meeting this season 80-64 in Greeley. NAU is 5-1 all-time against the Bears in Flagstaff with the only loss coming in the 2009-10 season. The Bears eliminated NAU in the Big Sky Tournament semifinals last season 73-70.
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 free Big Talker mobile app for Androids, Blackberries, iPhones and iPads. It will also be available online via Big Sky TV.
It is also being televised by NAU TV locally in Flagstaff and on Fox College Sports and Fox Sports Arizona Plus. Fans can also catch the game online on the NAU TV and Big Sky TV websites.