FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – NAU senior guard Amy Patton shined again with a game-high 29 points but CSU Bakersfield overcame an 11-point first half deficit and held on late for a 71-68 win on Monday night in Rolle Activity Center. The Lumberjacks dropped their 2012-13 home opener to move to 0-2 on the young season while the Roadrunners evened their season record at 1-1.
"I'm disappointed in the loss; I think this was a game we could have won and should have won," NAU head coach Sue Darling said after her home debut. "We are a little slim in numbers and we got tired in the first half. The two numbers that are glaring are their offensive boards and free throw attempts and we obviously need to work on our defensive rebounding."
NAU made six more field goals in the game and posted a .473-.385 advantage in field goal percentage but CSU Bakersfield attempted 34 free throws to just 16 NAU shots from the charity stripe. The Roadrunners outscored the Lumberjacks by 10 at the free throw line and made 7-of-16 three-pointers while NAU struggled from beyond the arc with a 2-13 line. The visitors also totaled a 41-28 rebounding edge with 21 of their boards coming on the offensive glass.
After scoring 33 points in NAU's season opener at New Mexico, Patton again lit up the scoreboard with 29 points on 10-of-21 shooting along with a team-high six rebounds and a career-high six steals. Sophomore Raven Anderson added 13 points and six rebounds and senior Paige Haynes tallied 12 points, four rebounds, and a game-high six assists. Five Roadrunners scored in double-figures with senior Amber Williams finishing with 15 points and hitting 4-of-5 three point attempts.
The Lumberjacks took the early lead as they turned an 8-6 deficit into a 20-11 lead at the 10:31 mark o0f the first half following a 14-3 run. NAU's lead grew to 11 points at 29-18 following a layup by sophomore Jasmine Sneed with 5:50 remaining in the half, but CSU Bakersfield responded with an 11-0 spurt over the ensuing two and a half minutes to knot the score at 29. With the score even at 33-33 Patton hit a three-pointer and the Roadrunners made a free throw to close half with a 36-34 NAU lead.
CSUB came out firing after the intermission in opening the second half on a 12-2 run to take a 48-38 lead with 15:44 remaining in the contest. NAU chipped away at the deficit and got within a 50-48 margin following a 10-2 run of its own and the home team moved within one point at 57-56 with 5:58 remaining.
The Roadrunners increased their lead back to five points with 4:32 remaining and led 68-64 with 2:09 to play. A pair of Patton free throws and a jumper by Patton brought NAU even with CSUB for the first time in the half at 68-68 with 56 seconds remaining. Two made Roadrunner free throws put them back on top, and NAU had three shot attempts miss with the clock under 30 seconds and was forced to foul.
After Roadrunner sophomore Tyonna Outland made one of two free throws to give her team a three point lead, Patton took a contested three-point attempt at the buzzer but could not get it to drop as CSU Bakersfield held on for the three point win.
NAU heads back on the road to play at No. 15 Nebraska at 6:05 p.m. Friday. The Lumberjacks pushed the Cornhuskers to double-overtime in a thriller in Flagstaff last season.