Women’s Basketball Falls to League Leading Idaho State, 62-54
POCATELLO, Idaho – NAU held Idaho State to just 34% shooting from the field, but the Bengals outscored the Lumberjacks 26-9 from the free throw line and posted a 42-33 rebounding edge in recording a 62-54 win on Thursday. Kingman, Ariz. native Lindsey Read poured in 23 points for the league-leading Bengals, who improved to 10-1 in the Big Sky and 18-6 overall while the Lumberjacks moved to 7-17 overall and 2-10 in conference play.
"Defensively we did a lot of really good things," said NAU head coach Laurie Kelly. "It came down to free throws, as we kept them to just 36 points on field goals but they capitalized on their opportunities from the line. We're so close and we feel like we can beat anybody, but we just can't seem to do enough over the course of 40 minutes to close the game."
The teams traded baskets early in the contest before Idaho State broke a 6-6 tie with a 6-0 run to take a 12-6 lead at the 13:34 mark. NAU brought its deficit down to two points with 11:22 to go, but the Bengals would use an 8-2 run to open up a 22-14 advantage. Idaho State's lead remained at eight points with 3:46 to go, but NAU freshman center Raven Anderson connected on consecutive baskets to get NAU back within four points. The Lumberjacks would be outscored by one point through the end of the half as Idaho State took a 33-28 lead into the intermission.
The Lumberjacks would trail by just three points at 37-34 three minutes into the second half, but NAU would then go scoreless for more than four minutes as the Bengals opened up a 42-34 lead with 13:13 remaining. A three-point hit from sophomore Amanda Frost brought the Lumberjacks to within 45-40 with 11:12 to play, but NAU could get no closer. The Bengal lead reached 10 points with 6:19 to play, and NAU could get no closer than an eight point deficit for the remainder of the contest.
NAU outshot Idaho State 38.2% to 34.0% and held the Bengals to 25% shooting in the second half but could not stop the free throw parade as ISU shot 33 free throws in the contest, making 26. The Lumberjacks made five more field goals for the game but went just 9-of-16 from the stripe.
Reed went 12-of-16 from the line en route to her 23 points, while Idaho State also received double-digit scoring totals from Ashleigh Vella and Chelsea Pickering. The Lumberjacks were paced by junior Amy Patton and sophomore Trinidee Trice with 13 points apiece. Patton added a team-high seven rebounds to go with three steals and two assists in the contest, while Anderson contributed career highs of six points and six rebounds.
NAU plays its final Big Sky road game of the season at 5 p.m. Saturday at Weber State.