BOZEMAN, Mont. – Senior guard Amy Patton scored 15 points to get within four points of the NAU career scoring record and senior Paige Haynes had a career-high 14 points in a 69-52 Lumberjack loss at Montana State on Saturday. The Lumberjacks moved to 0-2 in the Big Sky and 1-10 overall while the Bobcats improved to 7-3 overall and 1-1 in conference.
"We didn't have the same effort that we had vs. Montana," NAU head coach Sue Darling said. "It translated into them getting 18 offensive rebounds to our nine; we definitely needed to win the battle on the offensive boards and we did not. We ended up with three assists as a team and it was not an overall good team effort."
Patton shot 7-of-15 from the field and brought in a team-high eight rebounds in the loss. She now has 1,674 points to move just four points shy of Alyssa Wahl's NAU career scoring record of 1,678 points. She continues to lead the Big Sky in averaging 21.5 points per game this season.
Haynes was 5-of-6 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line en route to her career-high 14 points. Sophomore Raven Anderson had seven points while sophomore Erikka Banks made her season debut with three points, two steals, and a rebound. The Bobcats had only a slight edge in overall field goal percentage but were 6-of-13 from 3-point range while NAU shot 2-of-11 from behind the arc and was outrebounded 44-33.
The Lumberjacks started strong, making five of their first eight shots to take an early 11-6 lead. NAU's lead grew to six points at 14-8 and again at 17-11 after a Patton three at the 10:12 mark. Montana State took over from there, utilizing a 12-0 run and building a 23-17 lead as NAU was held scoreless for nearly four minutes.
NAU had just one field goal over more than seven minutes as the Bobcat advantage grew to 34-23 with 2:30 left in the half. Anderson had the last six points of the half for the Lumberjacks over a three minute stretch but MSU tallied a late three to take a 39-27 lead into the intermission.
The Lumberjacks got back within 10 points at 45-35 after the opening five minutes of the second half but could get no closer. The Bobcat lead reached 18 points at 58-40 with 6:59 to play in regulation and MSU moved to a game-high 19 point advantage at 65-46 with 3:05 remaining. Haynes scored four late points to reach her career high as the Bobcats settled on a 17-point win.
NAU will break for the holidays before resuming conference play in their first Big Sky game against new conference member Southern Utah on Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. in Cedar City, Utah.