FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona was held to 28.6% shooting while Northern Colorado junior D'shara Strange nearly had a triple-double with 21 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists to lead the Bears to a 71-43 win on Thursday night in Rolle Activity Center.
"Their zone stymied us, and I will take full responsibility for that," NAU head coach Sue Darling said. "I did not prepare the team adequately to handle that zone."
Northern Arizona (6-17, 5-9 Big Sky) equaled its season low in points while shooting just 1-of-15 from 3-point range. Northern Colorado (14-9,11-3 Big Sky) had a 46-28 rebounding edge and shot 46.0% to win their seventh consecutive game and keep pace atop the Big Sky standings. The Lumberjacks were +4 in turnover margin as their defensive effort produced 16 turnovers with 13 steals.
"We played incredible defense in the first half and played incredible defense in the first part of the second half to get the game within four points," Darling said. "I was very proud of our effort, I was very proud of our energy, and I was very proud of our teamwork, especially on defense."
NAU trailed by eight at halftime but got within four points down 29-25 early in the second half. The home team still trailed by just four at 36-32 with 13:14 to play but the Bears caught fire from there as a 9-0 run gave UNC a 45-32 advantage with 9:37 remaining.
The Lumberjacks would trail by double-digits for the remainder of the contest as the Bear run extended to a 19-4 spurt as they took a 55-36 lead while holding NAU to just four points over nearly eight minutes. In all Northern Colorado outscored Northern Arizona 35-11 over the final 13 minutes of the game to earn a 71-43 win.
Senior Amy Patton led the NAU effort with 14 points and six rebounds while sophomore Raven Anderson chipped in nine points and six rebounds off the bench. Strange led three Bears in double-figures as junior Molly Duehn scored 14 off the bench and senior Lauren Oosdyke totaled 13 points and five rebounds.
UNC held NAU to 24.1% shooting in the first half to build a 27-19 halftime lead. NAU held its only lead of the game at 6-4 at the 15:56 mark of the opening half before the Bears went on a 9-0 run to go up 13-6. The visitor's lead reached 10 at 21-11 before the Lumberjacks got back within six, but NAU did not have a field goal for the final four minutes of the half as the Bears took an eight point lead to the intermission.
The Lumberjacks will be back on the floor at 2:35 p.m. Saturday when they host North Dakota in Rolle Activity Center. The game will be NAU's Think Pink contest to promote breast cancer awareness as the first 500 fans in attendance will receive pink rally towels and all fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game. For tickets click here or call 928-523-5661.