PORTLAND, Ore.– Freshman guard Kris Yanku came up big once again and scored the game winning basket with time winding down, as Northern Arizona (11-13, 8-5 Big Sky) defeated Portland State 65-63 at the Peter W. Stott Center.
"I feel great," said head coach Jack Murphy. "The guys battled and we pulled out the victory. To come out on the road in this conference and win is hard, but we did it tonight."
It was a game that had everyone in the building on the edge of their seat, but in the end it came down to who was willing to dig deeper and finish their shots. In tonight's case it was Northern Arizona who pulled out the victory for its third road win in Big Sky play.
With 10 minutes left to play, NAU held the 44-43 edge after a layup by Quinton Upshur. Portland State was able to take a two-point lead after a three-pointer in the corner by the Vikings. PSU increased its lead to five with some help from the free throw line.
NAU was able to go on a 9-4 run to tie the game at 55-All with just under five minutes left to play.
From there the two teams traded baskets, but ultimately it was NAU that scored the final five points of the game to steal the win.
Upshur led NAU with 16 points and three blocked shots. Ako Kaluna registered 13 points on 4-for-5 shooting and a 4-of-6 performance from the charity stripe. Gaellan Bewernick added 10 points (5-for-7) and four rebounds. NAU shot 49.1 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from the charity stripe.
DaShaun Wiggins led Portland State (11-11, 6-7 Big Sky) with 19 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Tim Douglas chipped in 16, Kyle Richardson had 13 and Marcus Hall added 10. The Vikings shot 42.6 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc and 62.5p
Notes: Double digit scoring games: Quinton Upshur (22), Gaellan Bewernick (7), Ako Kaluna (3).