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Bears Claw Past NAU, 83-79

Mike Green
Mike Green

GREELEY, Colo. – It went down to the final seconds in Greeley, but it was Northern Colorado (7-8, 3-1 BSC) who topped Northern Arizona (3-13, 0-3 BSC) to grab the win at home. The Lumberjacks outscored the Bears 49-43 in the second half.

"We have to rebound the basketball; that is why we lost the last two games," said head coach Jack Murphy. "In the second half, we attacked the paint. I was proud of how the players fought tonight. The way we have competed in the past two games is something I am proud of."     

NAU had six players with two fouls a piece in the first half, which created plenty of substitutions for the Lumberjacks during the first 20 minutes of the game. NAU led by as many as three points early on, but a 13-0 run by the Bears gave the home team a 17-7 edge early on. Northern Colorado went up by 18 points with 10:05 to go in the period and managed a 40-30 lead heading into the locker room.

Mike Green, who finished with a career-high 31 points, had 14 in the first half on 5-for-7 shooting. He went on to make 6 of 10 3-pointers on the night.

Green came out of halftime continuing his scoring spree as he rattled off 10 straight points for the Lumberjacks to get the second period started.

The Lumberjacks gained points at the free throw line and the Bears battled NAU from all angles. Marcus DeBerry hit a 3-pointer to trim Northern Colorado's lead to 62-58 with 10:03 remaining.

When NAU got too close for comfort, the Bears would hit a bucket to create space again. DeBerry had the hot hand late in the game and a four-point play by the sophomore brought NAU to within seven points with 2:24 to go.

Another DeBerry made 3-pointer saw the scoreboard read 80-75 in Northern Colorado's favor, as the Lumberjacks fought hard down the stretch. The Bears missed a pair of free throws with 21.4 seconds remaining and the Lumberjacks took possession of the ball down by three.

The Lumberjacks called a timeout with 14.5 seconds left and after an officials review of the previous play; possession went back to the Bears.

The Bears hit a free throw to extend its lead to four points to seal the four-point win.

DJ Miles racked up a career-high 36 points going 11-for-18 from the field and 10-for-17 from 3-point range. The Bears shot 44.6 from the field for the game and 57.1 from the charity stripe.

DeBerry made all 17 of his points in the second half, including four made 3-pointers. Jordyn Martin netted six points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Lumberjacks shot 42.4 percent from the floor and 85.7 percent from the free throw line.

Northern Arizona heads back to Flagstaff as it welcomes Portland State on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m. and Sacramento State on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 12:30 p.m.

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