Balanced Attack Paces Men's Basketball to 70-62 Win
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Using a balanced offensive attack and outstanding ball movement, the Northern Arizona men's basketball team led wire to wire on Saturday, finishing the Global Sports Classic with a 70-62 victory over Campbell at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Lumberjacks had four players in double-figures and three players with five assists as they clinched their second victory of the season to move to 2-3.
After Campbell turned the ball over on the game's opening possession, freshman DeWayne Russell found sophomore Gaellan Bewernick for a layup on NAU's first possession and the Lumberjacks never looked back from there. The Lumberjacks utilized steady play to their full advantage, never letting the Camels go on a run as they held the lead throughout the opening 20 minutes. Campbell would get within four points with just over six minutes to go in the half, but the Lumberjacks would finish the half on a 15-8 run from that point forward – including three-pointers from Russell and seniors Michael Dunn and Stallon Saldivar – to take a 39-28 lead into the break.
The second half was more of the same for the Lumberjacks as their lead grew to as many as 14 early in the half. Campbell had one last spurt in them, going on a 6-0 run to cut a 10-point deficit down to four at 53-49 with just under nine minutes to go, but they would get no closer as the Lumberjacks would later regain their double-digit advantage before settling for the eight-point victory.
Senior Gabe Rogers and Russell each scored eight points in the decisive first half before each finishing with a team-high 13 points, which Bewernick also equaled. Bewernick and sophomore Max Jacobsen, who had 11 points off the bench, played a big part in the Lumberjacks controlling the paint with a 38-18 advantage in points in the paint. Bewernick also added a game-high nine rebounds as he recorded season-highs in points and rebounds on Saturday.
The Lumberjacks shot a season-best 56 percent from the field which can be attributed to 19 assists on 29 made field goals. Dunn, Rogers and Russell each posted five assists as they consistently found open looks for their teammates. Campbell shot just 41 percent from the field and was outrebounded by NAU by a 34-29 margin.
NAU will next travel to Tucson to take on Arizona at the McKale Center on Wednesday at 8:05 p.m. The Wildcats are 3-0 and are currently ranked No. 10 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls. The game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network. The game will also serve as the Lumberjacks sixth and final game away from Flagstaff in their six-game road trip to open the 2012-13 season before their home opener against Sam Houston State on Saturday in the Walkup Skydome.