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January 18, 2014

Jacks Too Hot to Handle for Portland State

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona and Portland State were tied 31-All at the half, but the Lumberjacks scored 46 points in the second half to roll to a 77-56 victory over the Vikings at the Walkup Skydome.

"I think we weren't pushing the pace in the first half," said head coach Jack Murphy. "In the second half we got stops, began to push the basketball and got some good shots."

It was the tale of two halves for NAU, but fortunately it was in the second half that the Lumberjacks began to take control of the game. After shooting 48.3 percent in the first half and only connecting on a trio of three pointers, the Lumberjacks began to catch a rhythm in the second.

NAU (8-9, 5-1 Big Sky) went on a 14-0 run that led to a 52-39 lead. The Lumberjacks shot 70.4 percent in the second half and held the Vikings to 33.3 percent from the floor.

A career-high performance by freshman guard Kris Yanku was an added delight to the game today as he netted 12 of his 17 points in the second half. Senior forward Max Jacobsen registered 15 of his team-high 19 points in the second half also, as NAU steam rolled the Vikings for its fourth straight win. The victory keeps NAU at the minimum in a tie for first place in the league.

Portland State (7-8, 2-4 Big Sky) was led by Gary Winston who scored 13 points, while Brandon Cataldo added 10 points and four rebounds.

NAU will hit the road next week as it travels to Northern Colorado on Thursday and North Dakota on Saturday.

Notes: Double digit scoring games Quinton Upshur (15), Max Jacobsen (13), Kris Yanku (7), Gaellan Bewernick (5)… NAU's 5-1 Big Sky start is the best since the 2007-8 season when the Jacks started 6-1 as well…Yanku netted a career high 17 points (previous high was 13).