FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – UC Davis must not have got the script. The Aggies overcame a 21-point deficit and spoiled the Senior Night for the Northern Arizona men's basketball team with a 70-65 victory in the Sears BracketBusters game at the Rolle Activity Center Saturday night.
"In the second half they went on a run and we were not able to combat their run," said senior Durrell Norman. "It may have been that feeling of here it goes again, things are going down hill. Things did not go our way down the stretch."
Senior Durrell Norman, who was honored in a pregame ceremony, scored a career-high 26 points with seven rebounds and made 14 free throws in 36 minutes. Redshirt freshman Gaellan Bewernick tied a career high with 14 points and grabbed a career-high 13 boards in recording his third double-double of the season. But the efforts were secondary to the scoreboard.
"It was nice and will be something I will remember moving forward," said Norman. "It will be a great memory but it will be tainted a little because we were not able to pull out the "W" and gave up such a big lead in the second half. Our hats are off to UC Davis. They played a tremendous game."
The Lumberjacks played an almost-perfect first half building a 45-26 lead at the break. NAU shot 55.6 percent and went 11-for-12 at the line with only three turnovers. But the Aggies came out of the locker room gunning , hitting six of their first seven shots and compiled a 20-4 run to cut the lead to two just eight minutes into the game second half.
UC Davis tied at the game at 50 and led by as many as eight after another 10-2 run. The Lumberjacks fought back to try to salvage the game and end their 13-game losing streak, tying the game at 61 on a bucket by Norman with 2:59 left. The Aggies then went ahead by three at the free throw line and never trailed again. NAU cut the lead to one twice in the final minute but failed to get a stop on defense both times as the Aggies prevailed.
NAU shot just 26.7 percent in the second half and went 0-for-7 from beyond the arc while the Aggies made 63.6 percent from the floor, hitting six three-pointers and making 10 free throws.
UD Davis (4-22) won for the first time this season on the road, while NAU (5-22) extended its losing streak to 14 games.
"We still have the desire to win and having these close games makes us that much hungrier to get a win," said Norman.
The Lumberjacks finish the season on the road this week at Montana and Montana State. NAU plays at Montana on Thursday night in a game televised by Altitude.