Men’s Basketball Travels to North Dakota for First Time
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team will make their first trip to North Dakota Saturday for a key Big Sky Conference game. Tipoff is 1:05 p.m. Arizona time.
The Lumberjacks (9-16, 6-9 BSC) have lost two in a row after pulling within one game of .500 in league play with a win over Portland State on Feb. 7. They have lost back-to-back games to Eastern Washington and Northern Colorado, moving into a tie with the Bears for seventh in the standings at 6-9. The top seven teams qualify for the Big Sky Tournament.
NAU had 23 turnovers in the loss at UNC on Thursday.
"We have to be mentally ready to play, individually and as a group," said Head Coach Jack Murphy. "I think we will have a much better showing on Saturday."
The game will be broadcast on Fox College Sports Central (DirecTV 626) and Mid-Co Sports Network in North Dakota. Voice of the Lumberjacks Mitch Strohman will call the action 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.
With Eastern Washington (5-9), Portland State (4-11) and Idaho State (4-11) close behind, the Lumberjacks cannot afford to drop many more games in league play.
After opening the season 1-4 in Big Sky play, UND has won seven of its last 10 league games to move into a third place with Southern Utah at 8-7.
UND won the first meeting against NAU on Jan. 26. North Dakota overcame a 22-point first half deficit and won the game on a last second basket by Troy Huff off an offensive rebound to defeat Northern Arizona 81-79. Huff scored 26 points in the game and got the game winner off a missed shot by Lenny Antwi with three seconds left to send the Lumberjack crowd home disappointed.
The Lumberjacks hope to get a duplicate performance from Rogers against UND. He scored a Big Sky Conference best 35 points on Jan. 26.
Rogers has been on target beyond the arc and from the field in general. He has made three or more three-pointers in seven of the last eight games, going 30-for-61 (49.2%) overall. Against North Dakota, he became the fourth player in school history and 14th in Big Sky history to reach the 200 career three-pointers made milestone. He has averaged 22.1 points per game over the last 10 contests while scoring in double figures in each game. He has scored 20 or more in seven of the last 10 and four straight.