Updated Jan. 11, 2017
Opponent: Sacramento State (Saturday, Jan. 14/3:00 p.m.)
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
Opponent: Portland State (Monday, Jan. 16/3:00 p.m.)
Location: Portland, Ore.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - After coming up just shy at home last week, the Northern Arizona women's basketball team will look to get back on track this weekend with road games at Sacramento State and Portland State slated for Saturday and Monday respectively. Both games will tip-off at 3 p.m. and are local to Flagstaff.
Monday's game at Portland State is a reschedule of the previously scheduled game on Thursday, Jan. 12. The game was postponed due to the winter weather hampering travel in and out of Portland.
Follow the Action:
- Both games can be heard for free online at nauathletics.com/wbbradio. The pregame show will start 15 minutes prior to tip-off (2:45 p.m. on Saturday and Monday).
- Both games will be streamed for free online at watchbigsky.com.
Robyne Bostick's Opening Thought: "We have to keep paying attention to the details in practice. We can't waste possessions with bad shots or turnovers. It's understanding the importance of a play in the first quarter is the same as a play in the fourth quarter. Every time we've asked our team to step up, whether it's defensively or rebounding or taking care of the ball, they've been able to do that. Now this weekend it's about putting it all together."
Previewing The 'Jacks: NAU is coming off two narrow losses at home by a combined five points to current conference unbeatens North Dakota (80-78) and Northern Colorado (69-66). Through the first two weeks of the conference schedule, is one of three teams with a 1-2 Big Sky record. NAU is 5-9 overall and one win shy of equaling its win total from a year ago. Senior Brittani Lusain exploded for 35 points in the two games last week, including 20 points and 10 rebounds against Northern Colorado for her second double-double of the season. Lusain is now averaging 10.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. She is just 90 points shy of a 1,000 for her career and jumped into the top 10 on NAU's career rebounds list. Redshirt junior Olivia Lucero is averaging a team-high 14.6 points per game. In conference play, she is shooting 93.3 percent from the free throw line and 38.5 percent from three-point range. Redshirt junior Kenna McDavis is averaging 11.2 points over her last five games, scoring in double-digits in four. In three conference games, McDavis is shooting 50 percent from long distance.
Scouting Sacramento State: Sacramento State tied for seventh in the Big Sky Coaches poll and was seventh in the Media poll. The Hornets have dropped their last four games entering the week including a narrow 88-86 loss to Portland State at home last Saturday. Sacramento State is 0-3 in the Big Sky and 4-10 overall. Maranne Johnson ranks second in the Big Sky with a team-best 17.3 points per game as well as second in steals at 2.5 per game. Johnson leads the league with 56 three-pointers made at four per game and is hitting at a 35.4 percent rate from behind the arc. Margaret Huntington is the Big Sky's top rebounder at 9.6 per game and is the only player in the league averaging more than nine rebounds per game. She also averages 7.0 points per game and is shooting 53.3 percent from the field overall.
Bostick on Sacramento State: "We are very familiar with the style of play that Sacramento State likes to utilize, so it'll be a matter of being ready for it. It's a hard game to prepare for because it's hard to simulate it in practice, but when we get on the floor we have to know it's going to be an up-and-down game and we have to be ready to go."
Scouting Portland State: Portland State was voted 10th in both the Big Sky Preseason Coaches and Media polls before the season. The Vikings are 7-8 overall and 1-2 in the conference. They picked up their first conference win in their only game last week, edging out Sacramento State on the road, 88-86, this past Saturday. Portland State has opened up the conference schedule with three road games. Sidney Rielly leads the Vikings, and ranks fourth in the Big Sky, in scoring at 16.3 points per game. In conference play, Reilly paces the entire league with 20.0 points per game. She is shooting 59.5 percent in conference play and 52.7 percent overall for the season. Ashley Bolston, this week's Big Sky Co-Player of the Week, ranks second on the team with 13.5 points per game and is also averaging 4.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists. Her 5.0 assists per game is tied for the league-lead.
Bostick on Portland State: "Portland State is averaging 71 points per game this year so they're scoring a little more than they have in the past. They like to play an up-tempo style and they will push the ball in transition. Our transition defense will be important, as it will against Sacramento State as well."
- NAU and Sacramento State will be meeting for the 44th time in school history. NAU leads the all-time series 29-14. Sacramento State won the only meeting last season, 111-79, on March 4, 2016 in Flagstaff.
- NAU and Portland State will be meeting for the 43rd time in school history. NAU leads the all-time series 23-19. Portland State won the only meeting last season, 88-80, on March 2, 2016 in Flagstaff.
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