FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona made 32 attempts at the free throw line, outrebounded Portland State 51 to 26, and that's exactly what it needed to secure its first Big Sky win of the season, 83-76, over the Vikings.
Sophomore guard Mike Green scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half to lift the Lumberjacks to a seven-point victory over Portland State.
"Guys that haven't been giving us production on the glass stepped up today," said head coach Jack Murphy." That was huge for us. We played a very good Portland State team today. There are still a few things that we need to clean up, but I'm proud of the way the team played today."
The Vikings began the game with a 9-0 run before a Jordyn Martin layup got the Lumberjacks in the scorebook. The Lumberjacks played very aggressive from there and a Brooks DeBisschop layup with 14:20 to go gave NAU a 12-11 advantage.
NAU went up by double digits when Ako Kaluna record a layup with 10:27 remaining in the period. The Lumberjacks held on to the lead until Bryce Canda hit a 3-pointer with time winding down to take both teams into the locker room at 37-All.
The Vikings scored the first-four points of the second half, before Kaluna made a pair of free throws. It was a 3-pointer by Kye de Laveaga that sparked the bench and the crowd a few minutes later. The Lumberjacks patiently chipped away at the Vikings and it was down the stretch. They made 3-pointers and free throws that would be the deciding factor in the game. The Vikings tried to get under NAU's skin by tying the game at 76-All with 56 seconds left to play, but Green hit a 3-pointer to give NAU back the lead. NAU closed the game out by making four free throws, as it came away with the victory at the Walkup Skydome.
De'Sean Parsons led Portland State with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Deontae North added 15 points and Traylin Farris netted 12 to round out the Vikings top scorers.
NAU hits the road this week with games at Eastern Washington (Jan. 19) and Idaho (Jan. 21).