Pratt, Women’s Basketball Return to Host Weber State Thursday
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The NAU women's basketball team (5-13, 0-6 BSC) will look to regain its home success this week, hosting Weber State (2-16, 0-5 BSC) at 6:35 p.m. Thursday before facing league-leading Idaho State (13-5, 5-0 BSC) at 3:05 p.m. Saturday. Both games will be played in Rolle Activity Center and will be televised nationally on Fox College Sports and NAU-TV, with Saturday's game to also air on Fox Sports Arizona Plus.
Thursday's game will be Sock Night as well as Upward Basketball Night, as fans can receive FREE admission with the donation of a pair of socks. Saturday will be Pack the Rolle day, including Women's Basketball Alumnae Day and Girl Scout Day, in which girl scouts will receive FREE admission, a scout badge, and will be on the court for national anthem. The first 100 students at Saturday's game will also receive free pizza and drink. Click the links for more information.
Senior forward Katie Pratt returned to the court last week after missing 11 games following a radial neck fracture in her left elbow in NAU's game at Iowa State on Nov. 20. She scored 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting and was a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line in her return last week and says that there are no lingering effects from the injury on her shooting ability. She has averaged 5.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game this season while shooting 36% from three-point range, and was a preseason nominee for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
"It was a long recovery; I wasn't able to do anything for four weeks, and then I started doing some rehab and eased back into practice," said Pratt, one of two seniors on the NAU roster. "It was hard to have to sit and watch the team, but you can only control so much. I'm excited to be back and I hope I can help the team. We still have a long way to go and nothing's over yet."
NAU continues to rank among the top teams in the nation in steals, beginning the week ranked 25th in NCAA Division-I women's basketball with 12.0 steals per game. The Lumberjacks have recorded double-digit steals in 13 games this season and recorded a season-best 18 thefts in their home win against Kent State and against Portland State. NAU has eight players with double-digit steals this season and four with 25 or more steals for the year, led by 35 thefts from junior Amy Patton. Senior Caty Huntington has 30 season steals and is tied for seventh in NAU program history with 176 career steals.
The only NAU player to start every game this season, junior center Aubrey Davis has been among the most reliable scorers and rebounders in the Big Sky this season. After playing limited minutes through her first-two seasons at NAU as a walk-on, Davis currently leads the Big Sky with a .555 field goal percentage and is also among the league leaders in rebounding and blocks. Davis leads the Lumberjacks with 20 blocks for the season, is second with 6.3 rebounds per game, is third with 7.6 points per game, and has committed only 22 turnovers in 433 minutes played for the year.
Weber State will also be looking for its first conference win when it faces the Lumberjacks on Thursday. The Wildcats have just two wins this season coming against CSU Bakersfield and San Jose State, a team NAU lost to, 74-64, earlier this season. The Wildcats are 0-9 on the road this season and have been outscored by 10.0 points per game during conference play. Weber State ranks last in the Big Sky in scoring margin (-10.0), field goal percentage defense (.453) and blocks per game (2.0). Junior Amanda Hughes leads the team with 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while senior Mikell Woodfield averages 10.5 points and 7.0 boards. NAU is 27-41 all-time vs Weber State but swept the Wildcats in two games last season.