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February 20, 2014

Lusain Posts Career Night in NAU's Loss at North Dakota

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The Northern Arizona women's basketball team struggled all night offensively, shooting a season-worst 26.5 percent in a 71-41 loss to North Dakota at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. The 41 points are a season-low for NAU as it fell to 5-10 in the Big Sky and 8-16 overall.

Junior Erikka Banks converted a three-point play to bring the Lumberjacks within 18-12 with 12:27 in the first half remaining, but the Lumberjacks proceeded to endure an extended scoring drought. NAU missed its next 11 shots over the next eight minutes before freshman Brittani Lusain connected on a jumper to snap a 13-0 UND run. That jump shot sparked a 7-0 NAU run that ended with a layup by senior Amanda Frost that brought the Lumberjacks back to 31-19.

North Dakota entered halftime with a 40-24 lead and unfortunately NAU would not be able to cut into its deficit in the second half. The Lumberjacks once again struggled to score the basketball as their only points through the first nine minutes and 40 seconds were two free throws by Banks at the 18:31 mark. By the time Lusain made NAU's first field goal of the second half with 10:20 left in the game, NAU trailed by 27 points. North Dakota led by as much as 33 in the final 20 minutes as NAU shot just 4-of-20 (20 percent) in the second half.

The Lumberjacks made just 13 field goals, their fewest all season, and failed to hit a three misfiring on all 12 of their attempts from long distance. North Dakota shot 45 percent from the field and held a commanding edge on the glass by a 47-26 margin. NAU forced 19 UND turnovers but was only able to turn that into six points.

Lusain was the lone Lumberjack in double-figures as she finished with a career-high 25 points. Frost and Banks each had six and no other player scored more than two points.

NAU wraps up the week in Greeley, Colo. Saturday afternoon versus Northern Colorado. The game will tipoff at 2 p.m.