January 25, 2013

Men’s Basketball Looks to Extend Win Streak Against UND

NAU-UND GAME NOTES (PDF)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – After the thrilling victory over Northern Colorado Thursday night, Head Coach Jack Murphy and his Lumberjack basketball team return to the court Saturday to host Big Sky newcomer North Dakota at 2:05 p.m. at the Walkup Skydome.

"The momentum is good but every game is a grind," said Head Coach Jack Murphy. "We just want to win one in a row. It is our goal every time we play to go 1-0. Fortunately, we have won the last two but we have to come back with the same effort and execution to give ourselves another chance to win."

Senior guard Michael Dunn's game winner at the buzzer gave NAU a 67-65 victory on Thursday and the first winning streak for the team this season.

"We will remind them that Mike's jump shot counted for two points in Thursday's game and does not count for any in Saturday's game," said Murphy. "The scoreboard says 0-0. North Dakota is coming off a loss. They are a fantastic team and are really well coached with some great players. They are going to come in here wanting to win. We have to ready for that from the jump ball."

North Dakota, one of the new members of the Big Sky Conference in 2012-13, comes to Flagstaff for the first ever meeting between the schools on the basketball court.

The Big Sky is the third conference that UND has been affiliated with since the program began in 1904. At the Division II level, UND was a member of the North Central Conference from 1922 to 2008. After spending one season as an independent during its first season of Division I play in 2008-09, UND spent the next three seasons in the Great West Conference.

UND (7-11, 4-5 in the Big Sky) lost at Sacramento State on Thursday, 67-58. Junior Troy Huff is the top scorer in Big Sky play at 19.4 points per game, while teammate Aaron Anderson is third with 17.9 points per game against conference foes.

"Troy Huff is an outstanding scorer, can hit the three-point shot and is the leader in the conference in steals," said Murphy. "You have to be aware of where he is on the floor. I know he missed some games for them earlier. But since he has got back healthy, he has been one of the best players in the league."

Senior Gabe Rogers shot a season-best 57 percent (11-for-19) from the field against Northern Colorado, resulting in a season-high 28 points. He made four three-pointers for the second straight game and enters Saturday's game three short of 200 for his career. He would become the fourth player in school history and 14th in Big Sky history to reach the milestone. He has averaged 25.0 points over the last two games and has now posted eight games with three or more three-pointers in a game.

"Gabe is doing a great job," said Murphy. "You could see him slowly coming out of it at Portland State. He really broke out of his shell at Idaho State and (on Thursday) he continued it. I think for him it has started at the defensive end. He has guarded some of the top players on the other teams and that has given him confidence."

All Boy Scouts in uniform and their guests receive $5 admission as well as a free NAU Basketball Scout Badge and NAU Alumni may order discounted reserved tickets online by using the code JACKALUM or by calling 928-523-5661.

The game will feature a special halftime show by UniHoops performer Whit Johnson. The UniHoops act combines quirky dance moves, basketball skills, and a unicycle, creating an enormously popular halftime show.

The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Arizona Plus, Fox College Sports and NAU TV and will be aired on the Lumberjack Radio Network on 105.1 FM The Big Talker and online on the Big Talker website and The Big Talker mobile app. The game can be seen online on Big Sky TV and on NAU-TV.

To purchase single game tickets for this game, click here or call 928-523-5661.