NAU Takes Care of Business, Beats UTEP on the Road 76-74

Jordyn Martin takes it to the basket.
Jordyn Martin

EL PASO, TexasJordyn Martin registered 18 points and nine rebounds to guide Northern Arizona to a huge win over UTEP 76-74 at the Don Haskins Center.

"I loved our fight and competitiveness," said head coach Jack Murphy. "We battled hard and took a halftime lead. We got our seniors back and they were huge tonight. I'm excited for the guys. This is a big time win for us."

NAU may have started the game down 16-4, but it's not about how you start…it's about how you finish. The Lumberjacks bought their time and Ako Kaluna found JoJo Anderson for the 3-point shot to tie the game at 22-All with 6:08 to play in the half.

The Lumberjacks held on from there and Mike Green scored NAU's final five points of the first half to help the Lumberjacks enter the locker room up 34-29.

The Miners scored first in the second half, but Martin quickly responded with a jumper of his own.

UTEP's Omega Harris tied it up at 40-All with 16:16 left to play and then added a trey to give the Miners their first lead since seven minutes to go in the first half. The two teams traded baskets until Green recorded a layup with 9:37 remaining to give NAU the 56-55 edge.

Harris recorded a layup to bring UTEP to within three points with 1:14 to go. The Miners sent NAU to the free throw line, where the Lumberjacks hit two of four in the final 15 seconds to extend its lead to 76-71 with four seconds on the clock.

The Miners may have come close down the wire, including a made 3-pointer with time winding down, but it wasn't enough as the Lumberjacks came away with its first true road win of the season.

Marcus DeBerry had 13 points and seven rebounds and Green finished with 11 points, as the Lumberjacks shot 53.7 percent from the floor – its highest of the season.

Harris led all players with 22 points and Jake Flaggert added 15 points, as the Miners were outrebounded by the Lumberjacks, 38-24.

NAU heads to Illinois next to face UIC in its final non-conference game of the season on Tuesday, Dec. 20. Tipoff versus the Flames is set for 6 p.m. MST.

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