FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team travels to Montana to take on the Griz in the first of two road Big Sky Conference games to close out the regular season. Senior Durrell Norman led the Lumberjacks last Saturday with a career-high 26 points against UC Davis.
"We still want to win and have the desire to win," said senior Durrell Norman. "Having these close games slip out of our fingers just makes us that more hungry to get a win. To beat Montana at Montana has not been done in a while and would make everyone extremely happy. It is has been a long season but we would like to beat both teams in Montana."
Montana is 20-6 and 12-1 in the Big Sky. They are coming off a win over Hawaii in the BracketBusters event. They are 11-2 at home this season (5-0 in Big Sky play). Coach Wayne Tinkle's team leads the league in scoring defense, field-goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage defense. NAU is the first of three straight Big Sky home games to end the season for Montana, including games against Montana State and Weber State.
"These young men have played hard all year," said Interim Head Coach Dave Brown. "I know winning is a part of it. It is not the only thing. What these young men have gone through is a real credit that they have gone out and performed the way they have."
NAU enters the game with a 13-game league losing streak and have lost 14 in a row overall, one short of the all-time school mark.
Montana won the first meeting between the schools by the score of 78-53, the largest loss to Montana at home in the series.
Montana leads the all-time series 58-31. The Lumberjacks are 10-32 all-time in Missoula and have lost three straight to the Griz on the road. The Lumberjacks last win in Missoula came in the 2007-08 season.
NAU closes the season on a seven-day road trip with the two games in the state of Montana. The Lumberjacks also play at Montana State on Monday. Montana and Montana State play in Missoula on Saturday.
The game will be broadcast on 105.1 FM The Big Talker starting at 6:20 local time with Mitch Strohman calling the action from Dahlberg Arena. Fans can also watch the game live on Altitude (Direct TV 681, Dish Network 410).