Women's Basketball Takes on Utah Valley on Saturday
Opponent: Utah Valley (Saturday, Nov. 30/3:00 p.m.)
Location: PE Building - Orem, Utah
Live Stats: www.wolverinegreen.com
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - This Saturday, the Northern Arizona women's basketball team travels to Orem, Utah to play Utah Valley as they aim to notch their first win of the season. The Lumberjacks take on the Wolverines at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon and look to bounce back from a 92-43 loss at UTEP last Friday to drop to 0-2 this season.
Senior Amanda Frost had a team-high 11 points in NAU's loss last week, registering her second double-digit scoring effort this season. Freshman Brittani Lusain added eight points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals off the bench in another strong effort to start her career. NAU struggled from the field, shooting just 32 percent for the game, and was hampered by 29 turnovers.
Series History: NAU and Utah Valley will be meeting for the fourth time in three seasons with the Wolverines winning two of the first three matchups. The Lumberjacks welcomed the Wolverines to Flagstaff two seasons ago and earned a 73-59 victory in the first day of their annual Thanksgiving Tournament. NAU then made a trip out to Orem that same season and Utah Valley answered with a 73-56 win before defeating the Lumberjacks a second consecutive time last season.
In last year's meeting, a 62-44 win for Utah Valley in Flagstaff, the Lumberjacks shot just 32.8 percent from the field. After trailing by 13 points at halftime, NAU hung tough in the second half but was unable to close the gap. Amy Patton was the lone Lumberjack in double-figures as she notched 13 points while Sarah Tarver made her first career start and chipped in eight points and five rebounds. Of the Lumberjacks' three returnees this season, only Raven Anderson played in last year's game, as she recorded six points in just seven minutes off the bench.
Coach Sue Darling Quote for the Week: "We're trying to improve offensively and defensively, but at the end of the day we want to improve on our last outing and that has to do with competing more than anything else. Utah Valley is another quality team that beat us on our campus last year and that stung a little bit. They have a really great player in Katie Kuklok and they've very good fundamentally. We're going to have to come out and play with great focus, heart and desire and be tremendous competitors."
About Utah Valley (1-4, 0-0 Western Athletic): Utah Valley has dropped three straight games since thrashing Walla Walla, 114-27, on Nov. 9. The Wolverines are in the middle of a three-game stretch versus Big Sky opponents, having lost to Southern Utah in Cedar City, 74-63, last Thursday. They will host Sacramento State Wednesday night before the Lumberjacks come into town on Saturday.
Heading into the week, sophomore Katie Kuklok is averaging 22.0 points per game and has scored at least 20 points in four of the first five games. Kuklok is shooting 55 percent from the field and has converted on 23-of-43 three-point attempts. She is also averaging 6.0 rebounds, second on the team, and has a team-best nine steals. Junior Tina Doughty has been the team's second-leading scorer with 12.0 points per game and redshirt freshman Karlee Kartchner is averaging 9.6 points and a team-best 7.8 rebounds per game.
On the Road: The Lumberjacks will play their second of a four-game stretch of road games this weekend. Their game at UTEP last week was the first of six non-conference dates away from Flagstaff and they will not play at home until Dec. 14, exactly 34 days after their season opener at home. NAU still has road games at UC Santa Barbara, Loyola Marymount, Cal State Northridge and Pepperdine before opening up conference play on Jan. 2.
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