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November 23, 2012

Women’s Basketball Drops Thanksgiving Tournament Opener

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona women's basketball team lost to Western Michigan in the opening round of the Hilton Garden Inn Thanksgiving Tournament Friday afternoon 78-67. The Lumberjacks will play Bradley in the consolation game at 2:05 p.m. Saturday at the Rolle Activity Center.

"We have the ability to win games," said Head Coach Sue Darling. "Obviously there were certain things that were lacking today. We did not do a good job rebounding."

NAU was out-rebounded 50 to 33 and allowed 16 offensive rebounds in the contest.

Senior Amy Patton led the Lumberjacks with 20 points, while Tyler Stephens-Jenkins added 17 and Raven Anderson scored 15.

NAU fell behind by seven at the half despite holding WMU to 36 percent shooting over the first 20 minutes. The game was tied at 19 before a 7-0 run by Western Michigan gave them an advantage they held the rest of the game.

"Raven came in off the bench and did a nice job," said Darling. "Right now we have a spark plug in Jasmine Sneed.  She had just two points but when you watch her you see the type of defense we want to play. She is active, vocal and gets on the floor. That is what we need five kids doing."

NAU cut the lead to single digits in the second half but was not able to close the gap while shooting just 37 percent in the second half.

"We have to learn from our mistakes," said Darling. "We have to continue what we do well but we have to correct our mistakes. We need to act on them and get better rebounding, defense and scoring on our easy shots."

Tulane, who defeated Bradley 74-69 in the second game Friday, will play for the championship against Western Michigan Saturday at 4:05 p.m. or 30 minutes following the first game.

Admission to all sessions is FREE with the donation of canned goods/non-pershible items to support those families in need during the holiday season.