Womens Basketball Back in Action with North Dakota on Friday
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern
Arizona women’s basketball will play North Dakota on Friday,
December 18 at 6:00 p.m. at Betty Englestad Sioux Center in Grand
Forks, N. D. NAU slipped to 2-8 on the 2009-10 season with a
46-41 loss at Denver on Wednesday, December 16. The Lumberjacks
will look to avenge a 94-71 loss to the Fighting Sioux in Flagstaff
last year. The game can be seen in Flagstaff on Fox College
Sports-Central, digital cable channel 147.
LAST GAME: DENVER
Northern Arizona women’s basketball dropped another close game with a 46-41 loss to Denver on Wednesday night at Magness Arena. NAU was down a point with less than a minute to play but Denver had just enough to prevent the Lumberjack comeback. The game played out as a defensive battle with NAU and Denver limiting the other to 30-percent shooting from the field. The Lumberjacks trailed by seven after the first half, but came out strong in the second with an early 11-3 run to even the score at 33-33 with 13:24 left in the game. NAU trailed for most of the game but took a 39-35 lead at the six minute mark. Denver responded with an 11-2 run to end the game. Freshman guard Amy Patton paced the Lumberjacks with a game-high 16 points while sophomore guard Caty Huntington added 10 points off the bench. Patton went 7-of-15 from the field and 2-of-7 from behind the three-point line.
UPCOMING GAME: NORTH DAKOTA
North Dakota, out of the Great West Conference, is 2-8 on the season and will complete its 2009 home schedule playing the Lumberjacks this Friday. The Fighting Sioux have played four of their 10 games at home holding a 1-3 record. North Dakota's last win was at home against Mayville State (75-51) on Monday, December 7. The Sioux have since traveled to Arizona State and Drake. North Dakota lost to the Sun Devils 67-43 and the Bulldogs 70-58. The Sioux are averaging 56.0 points-per-game while giving up 71.0 points-per-game. North Dakota has seven players whom have seen starts and 10 players averaging more than 10 minutes a game with six averaging 20 or more. The Fighting Sioux are led by 23rd-year head coach Gene Roebuck and senior guard Kayla Bagaason who is averaging 14.1 points-per-game.
Fans can catch a live broadcast of NAU vs. North Dakota on Fox College Sports-Central, which is available on digital cable, channel 147 in Flagstaff. Pat Sweeney will handle the play-by-play with Jody Norstedt doing the color commentary. There will also be a live webcast for Friday's game against North Dakota, which is available for a nominal fee. Webcasting will be available through SIOUXtra at www.fightingsioux.com. Live stats and a free audio broadcast can also be found on www.fightingsioux.com in the women's basketball section or in the "Multimedia" section on the UND homepage.
The Lumberjacks last three games have been decided by five points or less and five of 10 so far this season have been decided by five points or less. NAU is 1-2 during its last three games and 1-4 overall in games decided by five or less points.
The Lumberjacks have used four different starting lineups this fall with head coach Laurie Kelly looking for the right combination on a game-to-game basis. After several lineup changes to open the season, NAU settled into a starting five of Vickie Toney, Caty Huntington, Amy Patton, Jenna Galloway and Lauren Hoisington using that lineup for four games up until last Thursday against San Diego with Tyler Stephens-Jenkins starting in place of Huntington. The starting five of Toney, Stephens-Jenkins, Patton, Galloway, and Hoisington was in place against Denver on Wednesday, December 16. This season, seven different players have earned starts while six are averaging more than 20 minutes-per-game.
Freshman guard Amy Patton leads the Big Sky Conference in double-doubles with four through 10 games played. She moved ahead of Portland State's Claire Faulker with a 14 point and 13 rebound performance against Arkansas State on December 10. Jenna Galloway also made the Big Sky's double-double list with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Siena on November 27. Patton and Galloway are two of 15 players in the conference this year to record at least one double-double.
Freshman guard Amy Patton is the only player in the Big Sky Conference to have four games with 10 or more rebounds and two games with 20 or more points. As of Dec. 14, Patton is ranked No. 100 in NCAA Division I Women's Basketball in scoring (16.1 ppg).
PATTON ON TOP
Freshman guard Amy Patton is currently first in the Big Sky Conference in rebounding (8.2 rebounds-per-game) and second in scoring (16.1 points-per-game) through Dec. 14. She is the only freshman in the top 10 in scoring and the best freshman rebounder. Patton has scored in double-figures in nine of 10 games this year with a season-high 29 points against UC Riverside and 26 points against Ball State. Her 29 points is the second highest total in the Big Sky this year. She has put up double-digits in rebounds four times.
NAU was back above the 40-percent mark against San Diego on Thursday, December 10 with a season-high 45.7-percent shooting from the field. The Lumberjacks' four-game streak shooting over 40-percent from the field was snapped against New Mexico on November 24; however, NAU bounced back against Siena shooting 40.7-percent for the game on November 27. The Lumberjacks have fallen under 40-percent against Oregon State, Arkansas State, and in its most recent game on December 16 at Denver, but have still shot over 40-percent in six of their 10 games.
HOISINGTON STAYING SHARP
Junior forward Lauren Hoisington is fourth in the Big Sky Conference in field-goal percentage this year shooting 46.3-percent from the field as of Dec. 14 providing NAU with consistent scoring inside. She had a season-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field against UMKC earlier this year.
HUNTINGTON MOVING ON UP
Sophomore guard Caty Huntington broke into the top 25 in scoring at 21st in the Big Sky Conference with 9.4 points-per-game as of Dec. 14. She is second with 2.8 steals-per-game and eighth in free-throw percentage (82.9). The 2.8 steals-per-game places her No. 52 in the Division I women's basketball.
SEVEN IN SIXTEEN
The Lumberjacks played seven games in 16 days dating back to their season opener against Pepperdine on Nov. 13 and finishing with Oregon State on Nov. 28. NAU has been across the country in those 16 days playing at Malibu, Calif., Riverside, Calif., Kansas City, Mo., Muncie, Ind., Albuquerque, N. M., and Flagstaff, Ariz. The Lumberjacks will enjoy a six-day break from games prior to playing Arkansas State, its longest gap between games so far this year.
The Lumberjacks will play their first five games away from Flagstaff with nine of their 13 non-conference games on the road. The challenging schedule includes matchups against Pepperdine (WAC), Ball State (MAC), New Mexico (Mountain West), Arkansas State (Sun Belt), UNLV (Mountain West), and Oregon State (Pac-10) at the NAU Thanksgiving Classic. Ball State received votes in the 2009 USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 Preseason Coaches' Poll.