Balanced Attack Leads Women’s Basketball Past Adams State, 76-50
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Junior Aubrey Davis and redshirt sophomore Patricia Gortarez each scored career highs and were two of four Lumberjacks to score in double-figures as NAU cruised to a 76-50 win over Adams State on Tuesday night in Rolle Activity Center. The Lumberjacks won for the second time in three days on their home court, improving to 2-1 on the season, while Adams State dropped to 1-1.
"This team just has a lot of energy and they really believe in each other," said NAU head coach Laurie Kelly. "They believe that they have the talent to do something special in the Big Sky and they have that swagger about them. There's a lot of trust in each other that you can see in how they play together and distribute the ball, and that showed tonight."
Gortarez went 5-6 from the field and hit two three pointers to total 13 points in 14 minutes. Davis narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds to go with three blocks, all career highs, while senior Caty Huntington and junior Amy Patton also recorded double-digit scoring totals as 10 different Lumberjacks tallied points in the contest.
Adams State, which advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division-II Basketball Championship last season, got off to a good start in scoring the first five points of the game and holding a lead through the first six minutes of the contest. NAU took over from there, using a 10-0 run to open up a 15-9 advantage at the 9:56 mark of the opening half. The Lumberjacks' lead would balloon to 11 with five minutes remaining in the opening stanza, and an 11-1 run over the final 3:47 of the half gave the home team a 38-20 halftime lead.
NAU kept on the offensive pressure in the second half, opening up a game-high 34 point advantage at the 6:14 mark after outscoring the Grizzlies 31-18 through the first 14 minutes of the second frame. NAU shot 59% in the second half and went a perfect 4-4 from behind the 3-point arc in the last 20 minutes, with Gortarez scoring 12 of her 13 points after the intermission. The Lumberjacks led 76-44 with just under two minutes remaining, but Adams State scored the last six points of the contest to bring the final score to 76-50.
NAU shot 52% for the game while Adams State finished at 41%. The Lumberjacks posted a dominant 40-23 rebounding advantage, including 18 boards on the offensive glass. NAU also forced Adams State into 27 turnovers with 17 steals, with Patton, junior Paige Haynes and sophomores Amanda Frost and Shay May each recording three thefts. After coming into the game leading the Big Sky with 8.0 3-pointers per game and shooting 36% from long range, NAU connected on seven threes on just 10 attempts (70%) on Tuesday.
With 13 points, Patton brought her career scoring total to 1,068 points, surpassing former Lumberjack Kim Winkfield for ninth place on NAU's all-time scoring list. She now trails Lee Ann Evers by just five points for eighth place and need just 20 points to move into sixth place on the list.
NAU heads out on arguably its toughest road trip of the season this weekend, playing first at South Dakota on Friday at 6:00 p.m. Arizona time.