Women’s Basketball to Host Big Sky Leader Idaho State Saturday
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Coming off a 71-58 Big Sky win over Weber State on Thursday, the NAU women's basketball team (6-13, 1-6 BSC) faces a steep challenge as they will host Idaho State (13-5, 5-0 BSC), the only remaining undefeated team in the Big Sky, at 3:05 p.m. Saturday in Rolle Activity Center. Saturday is Pack the Rolle Day, with the game to be broadcast live on Fox Sports Arizona Plus, Fox College Sports Pacific, and NAU-TV.
"Idaho State is just a solid team; there isn't one player that really jumps out at you, but they have so many good players that play great together," NAU head coach Laurie Kelly said. "They play very team oriented offense and defense and just have solid players. We know we put ourselves in a huge hole, and we're realistic about what we need to do to get out of it. We just have to worry about each game, and we took Weber State seriously and needed that win to get ready to try to upset Idaho State."
As part of Pack the Rolle day, Saturday festivities will 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.
NAU put together arguably its best all around game of the season on Thursday, as all 11 players that saw court time contributed to a 71-58 win over Weber State. Nobody played more than 27 minutes and 10 of the 11 players saw double-digit minutes. All eleven Lumberjacks that played scored at least one point, ten of the eleven players recorded at least one rebound, and eight players had at least one assist. NAU also totaled 14 steals and hit six three-pointers, and the Lumberjacks made 13-of-17 free throw attempts and went 8-of-8 from the line to ice the game in the final two minutes.
The Lumberjacks have now had 11 players make at least one start this season, which ties them with Louisiana Tech and Loyola Marymount for the most starters used in NCAA Division-I women's basketball this season. As a result of its depth, NAU also used its seventh different starting lineup of the year on Thursday against Weber State, as no starting lineup has played in more than four games this season. Junior center Aubrey Davis is the only Lumberjack that has started every game during the 2011-12 campaign.
Idaho State head coach Seton Sobolewski, a Flagstaff native, and NAU assistant coach Eric Fundalewicz have a long history of coaching both with and against each other. They both began as student managers for the NAU women's basketball team, working together during the 1999-2000 season. Fundalewicz graduated in 2000 and Sobolewski followed in 2001, with the two to meet up again and work together as assistants for the men's and women's basketball teams at Yavapai College during the 2001-02 season. The pair faced off for the first time during the 2003-04 season when Fundalewicz was an assistant at Cal State Northridge and Sobolewski was an assistant at UC Riverside, both members of the Big West conference.
Picked to finish fifth in the Big Sky in both the coaches' and media preseason conference polls, Idaho State enters Saturday a perfect 5-0 in conference play and is the only remaining unbeaten team in the league. The Bengals lead the Big Sky and rank 31st nationally with a .348 opponent field goal percentage while also leading the conference with a +4.6 rebounding margin. Four Bengals average double-digit scoring, led by the 12.6 points per game from fifth-year senior Chelsea Pickering. Sophomore Lindsey Reed, a native of Kingman, Ariz., averages 10.4 points per game and leads the team with 6.1 rebounds per game. The Lumberjacks have a 24-31 record all-time against Idaho State but have gone 16-12 at home, including a 59-55 home win over the Bengals last season.