Womens Basketball Faces Sacramento State on Thursday
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern
Arizona women’s basketball hosts Sacramento State on
Thursday, February 25 at 6:35 p.m. in the Walkup Skydome. NAU plays
the first of its next three games at home, which are the final
three games of the 2009-10 season.
NAU (5-21, 3-10 BSC) is riding a six-game losing streak and will look to rebound against one of the Big Sky Conference’s hottest teams in Sacramento State (12-13, 7-5 BSC). The Hornets are 8-1 over their last nine games.
The Lumberjacks were eliminated from postseason contention after a 71-64 loss to Eastern Washington, but will look to finish the season on a winning streak. NAU closes the year with three straight home games. The Lumberjacks have played just nine home games this season, the fewest of any team in the Big Sky.
Thursday night’s game is Faculty & Staff Appreciation Night in the Walkup Skydome. NAU faculty and staff will receive free admission with a NAU ID. Also, Killip and Christensen Elementary Schools will get free admittance as well.
LAST GAME: EASTERN WASHINGTON
Northern Arizona women’s basketball held a double-digit lead at Eastern Washington, but a late Eagles’ surge prevented the upset as the Lumberjacks lost 71-64 to the Big Sky Conference’s top team at Reese Court on Saturday. Freshman guard Amy Patton delivered her third straight double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds. NAU missed six consecutive field goals and totaled four turnovers over the final five minutes providing Eastern Washington with an opportunity to mount its comeback. The Lumberjacks cleaned up their recent struggles from the free-throw line shooting 83.3-percent and also out-rebounded Eastern Washington 36-28 for the game. NAU shot 42.3-percent for the game. The Lumberjacks were led by Patton’s team-high 20 points and Caty Huntington chipped in 14 rounding out NAU players in double figures. Eastern Washington had three players post double-digits in scoring led by Tatjana Sparavalo’s 21 points off the bench.
UPCOMING GAME: PORTLAND STATE
Portland State has played 12 Big Sky Conference games posting a 7-5 record so far during league play. The Hornets are 12-13 overall. Sacramento State was 3-8 in its first 11 games but has responded in league play, and with two more non-conference games to add to the total, are 9-5 record in its last 14 games. Sacramento State just finished a three-game home stretch and recently beat the No. 2 team in the Big Sky, Montana, 100-83, in Sacramento. The team is led by second-year head coach Jamie Craighead. At 29, she is the youngest head coach in Division I women’s basketball. The Hornets are averaging 78.8 points-per-game, the most in the league, but allowing 82.1 points-per-game, also the most in the league. The women are led by Charday Hunt who averages 18.8 ppg, first in the Big Sky Conference in scoring.
NAU's Universityhouse Channel will carry a live broadcast of Sacramento State versus NAU on Thursday with Jordan Byrd handling play-by-play duties and Sharon Falor doing color commentary. It will be a national broadcast found on Dish Network channel 9411. A live webcast will also be available through www.bigskytv.org and live stats can be found on www.nauathletics.com. The game can be heard on AM 930 KAFF with play-by-play from Andrew Tomsky as well.
The Lumberjacks are 25-6 all-time against Sacramento State in a series that dates back to 1993. NAU is 13-2 against the Hornets in Flagstaff all-time. In their last meeting in January, the Lumberjacks lost to Sacramento State, 77-66. Head coach Laurie Kelly is 10-4 against the Hornets in her seven-plus years at NAU.
As of February 22, freshman guard Amy Patton is second in the Big Sky Conference in scoring (18.2 ppg) and first in rebounding (8.5), double-doubles (11), 30-point games (3), and 10 or more rebound performances (12). She is first in conference play in scoring averaging 19.9 points-per-game and second in rebounding at 9.6 per-game.
Three Lumberjacks rank inside the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Top 100: junior guard Vickie Toney, sophomore guard Caty Huntington, and freshman guard Amy Patton. Toney is No. 57 in assists at 4.7 per-game. Huntington is No. 61 in the nation with 2.5 steals-per-game. She is tops in the Big Sky in that category. Patton is No. 35 in the country with 18.2 points-per-game and No. 75 in the nation with 8.5 rebounds-per-game.
Freshman guard Amy Patton is first in the Big Sky Conference and No. 29 in NCAA Division I women's basketball in double-doubles with 11 through 26 games played. Patton has more than twice as many double-doubles than any other league player. Jenna Galloway, Tyler Stephens-Jenkins, and Vickie Toney are also among 30 players who have recorded double-doubles this season. Toney was the latest when she turned in 19 points and 10 rebounds against Montana State on January 28.
Junior forward Lauren Hoisington is shooting 45.0-percent from the field as of February 22 and providing NAU with consistent scoring inside. In conference play, Hoisington is one of only three players shooting over 50-percent (50.0) and positioned in third place. in the rankings. She had a season-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field against UMKC earlier this year.
Sophomore guard Caty Huntington ranks first in the Big Sky Conference and No. 61 in NCAA Division I women's basketball with 2.5 steals-per-game. She has recorded a steal in every game but one and totaled two or more steals in 16 of the Lumberjacks’ 25 games.
The Lumberjacks have used 10 different starting lineups this fall with head coach Laurie Kelly looking for the right combination on a game-to-game basis. Two games ago, Kelly once again shook things up starting the lineup of Lauren Hoisington, Tiffany Amos, Amy Patton, Caty Huntington, and Vickie Toney. It was the first time this group had started together all season. The Lumberjacks went back to the starting lineup of Jenna Galloway, Hoisington, Patton, Huntington, and Toney against Eastern Washington last Saturday.
NAU has played in eight games decided by five points or less this year and hold a 2-6 record in those contests. The Lumberjacks have played in 13 games with the margin of victory in single digits. NAU is 3-10 in those games.
The women totaled a season-high in points in an 86-80 win over Portland State on January 16. The freshman tandem of Amy Patton and Tyler Stephens-Jenkins accounted for 55.8-percent of the Lumberjacks' scoring with 25 and 23 points, respectively. NAU shot 48.3-percent for the game.
The Lumberjacks have shot over 40-percent in seven of their 12 Big Sky games and shot its third best percentage against Idaho State (45.6) in their last home game. NAU has shot over 40-percent from the field 13 times this season. The Lumberjacks season-high came against Portland State with NAU shooting 48.3-percent in a game in which they also set a season-high in points (86).
NAU received its first Big Sky Conference weekly award with Amy Patton being selected Co-Player of the Week. The honor was the first of Patton's career in a weekend where she exploded for 61 points (30.5 ppg) and 21 rebounds (10.5 rpg). The freshman guard from Tempe, Ariz., shared the award with Sacramento State's Charday Hunt.