Idaho Bench Gives Vandals the Edge, NAU Falls 65-49

Jordyn Martin
Jordyn Martin

MOSCOW, Idaho – Idaho's bench produced 35 points to lead the Vandals past Northern Arizona, 65-49, tonight at the Cowan Spectrum.

"Defensively, the lineup we put on the court held Idaho to 40 percent from the floor and we tied them on the boards," said head coach Jack Murphy. "We have to get back home and defend our court. If we defend and have the type of rhythm we had tonight we will see good results."

The Lumberjacks made nine field goals in the first half – 1 of 5 from 3-point range – to trail Idaho 30-23 at halftime. The Vandals made 11 field goals on their end of the court, as its seven-point halftime advantage was due in part to its four made 3-pointers and 18-point bench production.

Martin, who recorded just five points and four rebounds in NAU's game on Saturday, came out ready to play. At intermission, Martin had 12 points and five rebounds on 5-for-6 shooting to lead the visiting team.

The Lumberjacks stayed right with the Vandals for the first 10 half of the period – Ako Kaluna with five points during that time.

A pair of made free throws by Kye de Laveaga brought the Lumberjacks to within two points and with 11:16 left in the game, NAU saw itself trailing Idaho 44-39.

NAU went nearly 12 minutes without committing a turnover in the second half. It was good ball control considering the eight it had in the first half. Once the Vandals started to force turnovers, that's when Idaho went on a 13-0 run and increased its lead to double digits.

The Lumberjacks (4-16, 1-6 BSC) could not rally back from the deficit and the Vandals (9-9, 4-3 BSC) rolled to their third straight win.

Kaluna became the 29th NAU player to join the 1,000-Point Club. He needed three points entering tonight's contest and got it on his second basket of the night, nine minutes into the game. The senior forward finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Martin notched his fifth double-double this season netting 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Lumberjacks shot 25 percent from the field in the second half and 31.5 percent for the game.

Brayon Blake had a career-high 18 points for Idaho off the bench. The Vandals' top scorer coming into the game was Victor Sanders. The guard went 3-for-5 from the 3-point line to finish with 17 points. Idaho shot 40.4 percent from the floor and 91.7 percent from the charity stripe.

NAU will make its way back to Flagstaff for a pair of games against Northern Colorado (Jan. 26) and North Dakota (Jan. 28) next week. Saturday's game against the Fighting Hawks will be Lumberjack Spirit Day. Be a special guest and show your NAU spirit for a full day packed with Lumberjack excitement including free admission into Saturday's game. Click here for more information.

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