Womens Basketball Drops Game to Montana
MISSOULA, Mont. – Northern
Arizona women’s basketball could not sweep the state of
Montana as the Lumberjacks suffered a 54-48 loss to Montana at
Dahlberg Arena on Saturday. The women had beaten Montana State on
Thursday, but lost for the fourth time in Missoula.
NAU (5-16, 3-5 BSC) led by six points at halftime, but Montana (11-9, 6-2 BSC) tied the game at 36-36 with just under 10 minutes to play. The Lumberjacks took back the lead opening up a five-point cushion despite shooting just 28.1-percent in the second half.
Montana responded with a 13-3 run over the next five minutes holding a five point lead with just over a minute to play. NAU cut the lead to a possession but the Grizzlies would make their free throws to secure the win.
“We made two critical turnovers down the stretch,” said head coach Laurie Kelly. “That was really tough for us. We shot the ball poorly in the second half. We held them to 54 points and usually that is a good thing, but we stopped making shots. We were really effective in the first half making shots and pressing. We did not make shots to press in the second half.”
Amy Patton had a team-high 17 points on 7-of-21 shooting for the Lumberjacks and shared the game-high with Montana’s Sarah Ena. Caty Huntington was the only other Lumberjack in double figures, and Montana’s Lauren Beck was the only other player for the Grizzlies to record double digits in scoring.
“We never really had an inside presence,” Kelly said. “We really struggled to get the ball inside. The only way we broke their zone down was penetration. We took 30 three-point shots. That is not our game. We shot 40-percent from three’s in the first half but in the second when we are not making them and continuing to still shoot them, that cannot happen.”
The Lumberjacks have finished their three-game road trip and will return to Flagstaff for three games over the next two weeks. NAU will play its first of three home games against Northern Colorado on Saturday, February 6 at 6:35 p.m. in the Walkup Skydome.