CEDAR CITY, Utah – Northern Arizona held Southern Utah to 11 first half points as it cruised to a 70-36 victory at Centrum Arena tonight. The Lumberjacks led by as many as 35 points in the second half.
"I'm proud of our guys and how they came out," head coach Jack Murphy. "We got the victory tonight and it was a good one. I challenged our starters before the game and they came out and performed well."
The Northern Arizona (6-9, 3-1 Big Sky) defense mixed with the poor shooting of Southern Utah (1-12, 0-4 Big Sky) kept the Thunderbirds off the scoreboard until 15:45 in the first half. Before the basket by SUU, NAU had already jumped out to a 12-0 run.
The Lumberjacks continued to pile on the points against Southern Utah and the rest of the game was just like the first half.
NAU started the second half on a 6-0 run that led to a 52-21 advantage over SUU with 14:39 remaining. As much as Southern Utah tried to make a dent in the score, it just couldn't make up the difference. It wasn't until 12:59 to go in the game that the Thunderbirds had matched their first half score, by then NAU led 54-22.
Five total Lumberjacks scored in double figures. Senior Max Jacobsen led the way with 15 points on a perfect 7-for-7 performance. Joining Jacobsen were Kris Yanku (13), Aaseem Dixon (11), Quinton Upshur (10) and Ako Kaluna (10) in double digits.
The Lumberjacks overpowered the Thunderbirds in every category to come away with the easy win. NAU shot 58.7 percent from the floor and 41.7 percent from the field.
Southern Utah was led by Jaren Jeffrey who tallied eight points and five rebounds. The Thunderbirds shot 24 percent from the field and 18 percent from behind the arc. The Thunderbirds 11 first half points tied their season low.
NAU returns home as it welcomes Eastern Washington on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and Portland State on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Notes: NAU leads the all-time series 14-10…Tonight's win is the first in Cedar City since December 14, 2002…Southern Utah scored 11 first half points (the NAU opponent record for fewest halftime points is 10)…Tonight's game marked the first time NAU began Big Sky play 3-1 since the 2007-08 season…Double digit scoring games on the season Quinton Upshur (13), Max Jacobsen (11), Aaseem Dixon (10), Kris Yanku (6) and Ako Kaluna (1)…Last time NAU had five players score in double digits was on Nov. 23, 2013.
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