Montana Snaps NAU Home Win Streak, Griz Notch 76-59 Victory

NAU Basketball
NAU Basketball

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona entered tonight's game having won its last four contests at home. Montana arrived at the Walkup Skydome ready to play. At the end of the 40 minutes, the Griz walked away with a 76-59 road win.

"Montana was the more physical team tonight," said head coach Jack Murphy. "Defensively, they took the fight to us. The biggest thing that stands out to me: 5-of-16 from the free throw line. We can't have that."

The Griz held a six-point halftime lead over the home team, netting two more field goals than the Lumberjacks. The scoresheet was nearly identical except for that fact, as both teams got ready for the second half.

Montana extended its halftime advantage to double-digit points with a made 3-pointer from Jack Lopez with 12:35 remaining. The Griz went on a 14-2 run over a 3:58 span to increase their lead to 58-43.

Down the stretch for every basket NAU made the Griz responded with one of their own. With five minutes left to play NAU found itself down 70-54. The Lumberjacks went 1-for-6 from the field to end the game.  

Ako Kaluna was the top scorer for NAU with 13 points and six rebounds. Marcus DeBerry registered 12 points and Mike Green added 10 points. NAU (7-19, 4-9 BSC) shot 43.9 percent from the field and stubbed itself in the foot going 0-for-6 from long range in the second half.

Jared Samuelson carried the load for the Griz (13-13, 8-5 BSC) with 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting off the bench. Ahmaad Rorie added 14 points for the Montana club that shot 53.7 percent from the floor and connected on seven 3-pointers.

The Lumberjacks prepare for a three-game road swing tipping off next week at Southern Utah on Saturday, Feb. 18. NAU will then travel to Sacramento State (Feb. 23) and Portland State (Feb. 25) for its final conference regular season road games.

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