NAU Hosts Idaho State, Weber State in Final Home Weekend
Opponent: Idaho State (Thursday, Feb. 27/6:30 p.m.)
Opponent: Weber State (Saturday March 1/6:30 p.m.)
Location: Walkup Skydome - Flagstaff, Ariz.
Live Stats: www.nauathletics.com
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Needing a win to remain in the hunt for a Big Sky Championship tournament bid, the Northern Arizona women's basketball team posted a historic shooting day to defeat Northern Colorado last Saturday. This week, the Lumberjacks return home for their final homestand of the season, first hosting Idaho State on Thursday before Senior Day on Saturday versus Weber State. Both games will tip off at 6:30 p.m. in the Walkup Skydome and will be the final two home contests for senior Amanda Frost.
Last week, the Lumberjacks fell 71-41 on the road at North Dakota, but followed that up with a convincing 86-70 win over Northern Colorado. Freshman Brittani Lusain scored a career-high 25 points versus North Dakota. Frost broke the school's single-season scoring record with a career-high tying 34 points in NAU's win over the Bears and junior Raven Anderson added a career-high 20 points as the Lumberjacks recorded the second-highest field goal percentage in school history while knocking down a school-record 13 three-pointers.
Series History: NAU dropped its fifth consecutive game to Idaho State on Feb. 1 in Pocatello, Idaho, falling 82-72. Down three at halftime, the Lumberjacks surrendered an 8-2 run to begin the second half and never was able to recover as the Bengals were hot from three-point range, shooting 50 percent for the game. Junior Erikka Banks led the Lumberjacks with 27 points, hitting 12-of-14 from the free-throw line, while senior Amanda Frost was the only other Lumberjack in double-digits with 23 points. Idaho State owns the 36-24 all-time series advantage but NAU holds the slight edge at home, 15-14.
On Jan. 30, the Lumberjacks defeated Weber State, 96-87, in Ogden, Utah to notch their seventh straight victory over the Wildcats. NAU was red hot from the field, hitting 56.9 percent for the game and 50 percent from long range. Frost and freshman Brittani Lusain each led the Lumberjacks with 21 points as six players finished in double-figures. Freshman Avonna Lee scored a career-best 11 points, making 3-of-5 from three-point range, and junior Raven Anderson blocked a career-best four shots. NAU trails the all-time series 41-32 and is 16-16 in Flagstaff versus Weber State.
Promotions: Saturday's Senior Day for Amanda Frost will be a BLUE OUT. Fans in attendance will receive a free blue t-shirt.
TV Coverage: Both games will be televised by NAU-TV and broadcasted live on Fox Sports Arizona. Thursday's game will also be televised live on Fox Sports Arizona Plus. The games will be shown live locally in Flagstaff on Suddenlink cable Channel 4 and online on the NAU-TV live web stream.
Coach Sue Darling Quote of the Week: "The regular season is winding down and I feel like our team is ramping up. It's a good time to do that. We had a bad game and then we had a great game. We need to take that same effort and energy into Idaho State on Thursday. We're in playoff mode right now and the chance for us to advance is within our grasp, so it's matter of staying focused and taking it one day at a time."
About Idaho State (10-15, 8-8 Big Sky): Since winning four straight from Jan. 25-Feb. 6, Idaho State has dropped four of its last five. The Bengals played three games last week, beginning with a 84-71 loss at Weber State last Monday before returning home. The Bengals defeated Montana State, 75-65, at home to snap a three-game losing streak before falling to Montana, 76-67. Idaho State is one of four teams in the Big Sky with eight conference wins at 8-8.
Idaho State is the lowest scoring team in the conference at 62.8 points per game, but is fourth in the conference in scoring defense at 66.6 points per game. The Bengals are also third in field goal defense and fourth in rebounding. Five players scored in double-figures in ISU's win over NAU at home led by 23 points from senior Lindsey Reed. Reed leads the team, and ranks fourth in the Big Sky, in scoring at 16.4 points per game. Senior Jessica Tingey collected a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds and ranks eighth in the in the Big Sky with 7.0 rebounds per game.
About Weber State (6-19, 2-14 Big Sky): Weber State put an end to its 51-game Big Sky losing streak by defeating Idaho State at home, 84-71, last Monday and followed that up with an impressive 56-54 victory over Montana. The Wildcats narrowly missed out on a three-game win week by falling short to Montana State, 75-71, to cap off a four-game homestand. The Wildcats are in 11th in the Big Sky Standings at 2-14 in conference play.
Weber State is second in the conference with 9.6 steals per game and is third in turnover margin at +3.20. The Wildcats force the second-most turnovers in the Big Sky as opponents turn it over 20.3 times per game. Senior Amanda Hughes led the Wildcats in the first meeting between NAU and Weber State with a 19 point, 11 rebound performance. Sophomore Desiree Ramos leads the Wildcats with 13.5 points per game and is fourth in the Big Sky in assists. Ramos hit six threes en route to 18 points and six assists against NAU. Sophomore Regina Okoye leads the Big Sky with 2.8 steals per game.
Quest for 1,000: Senior Amanda Frost's chase for 1,000 points is officially on as she stands at 970 points with at least four regular season games remaining in her career. She would become the 14th player in school history to join the 1,000 point club.
A New Scoring Queen: In her pursuit of reaching the 1,000 point milestone, Frost broke the NAU single-season scoring mark on Feb. 22 in the Lumberjacks' victory at Northern Colorado. She tied her career-high of 34 points to finish the game with 543 points to date this season, moving past Amy Patton's previous record of 539 points set during the 2009-10 season. In the game, she also tied the single-game school record with eight three-pointers made.
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