Opponent: Idaho State (Thursday, Feb. 2/6:30 p.m.)
Opponent: Weber State (Saturday, Feb. 4/6:30 p.m.)
Location: Walkup Skydome - Flagstaff, Ariz.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The stretch run on the Road to Reno begins for the Northern Arizona women's basketball team at home this weekend with games versus Idaho State and Weber State this Thursday and Saturday. Both games will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Walkup Skydome as the Lumberjacks get set to start the final half of conference play.
Follow the Action:
- Both games will be televised live by NAU-TV and shown live on local Flagstaff cable on Suddenlink channels 4 and 104. Thursday's game will also be live on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and Fox College Sports Pacific. Saturday's game will be broadcasted on a tape delay on both Fox Sports Arizona and Fox College Sports Pacific at 12 a.m. Check your local listings for channel information.
- Both games will be streamed for free online at watchbigsky.com.
Promotions: Thursday's game will be NAU's Faculty Appreciation Game along with its pregame Wine Down. Students will receive Kiss My Axe t-shirts with their student ID. The Flagstaff Dancing Grannies will also perform at halftime. Saturday's game will be NAU's celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day following the free pregame youth clinic. Rally towels will be given out on Saturday. Both games will also feature the first two sets of NAU's Motto Magnet giveaway.
Robyne Bostick's Opening Thought: "Our defensive consistency needs to be a lot better. We seem to put together three good quarters. After the first quarter against Northern Colorado (last week) we were pretty good defensively, and although we had some defensive lapses in the first half against North Dakota it was really the third quarter when they went on their big run. Defensively we're going back to the basics and hopefully going to get back to when our defense looked a little more intense earlier in the season."
Previewing The 'Jacks: NAU holds a 2-7 Big Sky record and are 6-14 overall with nine games down and nine to play in the conference schedule. The 'Jacks fell on the road last week to the conference's top two teams, Northern Colorado by a 75-64 score and 88-69 to North Dakota. Redshirt junior Olivia Lucero added 31 points to her season total in last week's games to up her average to 13.8 - tops on the team. Lucero was 5-for-9 from three-point range last week after making just one of her previous 15 attempts during her previous five games. Senior Rene Coggins scored a team-high 18 points against North Dakota last Saturday and is now averaging 11.7 points per game. She is shooting 39.8 percent for the season from behind the arc, which ranks sixth in the conference. Sophomore Kaleigh Paplow has started each of the last seven games and is averaging 11.0 points per game in that span on 51.8 percent shooting.
Scouting Idaho State: Idaho State was picked sixth in both the preseason Big Sky Coaches and Media Poll. The Bengals are 10-9 overall and 4-4 in conference having snapped a two-game losing streak last Saturday with a home 57-52 victory over Weber State in their only game of the week. Grace Kenyon leads the Bengals in scoring with 11.2 points per game, while also pacing the team on the glass with 7.1 rebounds per game. She ranks sixth in the conference in rebounding. Saylair Grandon ranks second on the team with 10.9 points per game and is also averaging 5.0 rebounds. Grandon is one of the Big Sky's top three-point shooters, ranking third with a 42.0 percent clip behind the arc.
Bostick on Idaho State: "Idaho State is a tough defensive team and they lead the conference in scoring defense. That's going to be grind-it-out type of game and we're going to have to work hard for every shot we get. Defensively we have to stop Grace Kenyon and Saylair Grandon who are both versatile scorers."
Scouting Weber State: Weber State was tied for seventh in the conference Coaches Poll and eighth in the vote by the media in the preseason. The Wildcats' 57-52 loss to Idaho State on the road last Saturday was their fifth straight defeat, which dropped their record to 2-6 in the conference and 8-11 overall. Emily Drake is tied for seventh in the conference in scoring with a team-leading 15.3 points per game and is one of the best sharp shooters in the league. Her 57 three-pointers are third-most in the conference and she is shooting 36.1 percent from three. Deeshyra Thomas is averaging 13.4 points per game on 46.8 percent shooting from the field and leads the team with 49 assists.
Bostick on Weber State: "Weber State is a little more guard oriented. Emily Drake has been pretty consistent scoring the ball for them and she is a three-point threat. We're going to have to defend the three-point line. We anticipate that they'll press a little bit and we haven't struggled with the press this year. We'll work on it this week in practice and look to limit our turnovers against them."
- NAU and Idaho State will be meeting for the 66th time in school history. Idaho State leads the all-time series 39-26. The two teams split last season's meetings with each team winning on their home court. NAU claimed the win, 63-62, at home on Jan. 30, 2016.
- NAU and Weber State will be meeting for the 79th time in school history. Weber State leads the all-time series 45-33. Weber State swept the season series last season, 76-56 in Flagstaff and 95-88 in overtime at home.
Like NAU Women's Basketball on Facebook
Follow NAU Women's Basketball on Twitter
Download the NAU Athletics Mobile App Here