Opponent: Southern Utah (Saturday, Feb. 18/2:00 p.m.)
Location: Walkup Skydome - Flagstaff, Ariz.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Northern Arizona women's basketball team begins their final homestand of the season with the first of three straight home games in the Walkup Skydome this Saturday versus Southern Utah at 2 p.m. NAU will be looking to not only snap its seven-game skid, but also sweep the season series against its Grand Canyon rivals in its annual Play 4 Kay game.
Follow the Action:
- Saturday's game will be televised live by NAU-TV and shown live on local Flagstaff cable on Suddenlink channels 4 and 104. It will also be live on Fox Sports Arizona and Fox College Sports Pacific. Check your local listings for channel information.
- The game will be streamed for free online at watchbigsky.com.
Promotions: Saturday's game will be NAU's Play 4 Kay game to promote cancer awareness in partnership with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. All fans can receive a $3 ticket when purchasing online using the promo code "PINKOUT" as well as attending the game in pink. The first 500 fans will receive a free pink bandana as well as NAU's third Motto Magnet set and bingo cards for a chance to win prizes including an NAU cookie cut.
Robyne Bostick's Opening Thought: "We've been able to take advantage of having an extra day this week without having a game tonight. It's given us time to take care of our bodies and get healthy in addition to giving them time to focus on their academics with a long road trip coming up at the end of the month. It came an important time with us having some players down due to injuries which has caused others to play big minutes the last couple of weeks."
Previewing The 'Jacks: NAU (6-18, 2-11 Big Sky) will look to jump start a climb up the Big Sky standings heading into the final three weeks of the season. Last week, the Lumberjacks fell to Montana State, 86-69, and Montana, 60-59, on the road. Against Montana, NAU rallied from an 18-point third quarter deficit before coming up short in the final seconds. Overall this season, redshirt junior Olivia Lucero leads the 'Jacks with 15.1 points per game and ranks seventh in the Big Sky. She totaled a season-best 29 points last Thursday at Montana State. Heading into their final three home games of their career, seniors Rene Coggins and Brittani Lusain could both join the program's 1,000 point club on their home floor. Coggins - averaging 11.3 points per game - is currently at 979 points, while Lusain - averaging 10.1 points per game - is right behind at 970 points. Freshman Raina Perez reached double-digit points in both games last week, and led NAU with 18 points in the first meeting versus Southern Utah. She is averaging 10.0 points per game in league games.
Scouting Southern Utah: Southern Utah is the last team in the Big Sky in search of its first conference win of the season after losses to Montana (64-55) and Montana State (71-68) on the road last week. Six of the Thunderbirds' last seven losses have been by single digits. Southern Utah, now 5-19 overall and 0-13 in conference play, fell to NAU in the first meeting between the teams in their Big Sky opener on Dec. 31 in Cedar City. The Lumberjacks forced overtime by overcoming a 12-point deficit to win 77-68. Darri Frandsen leads the team with averages of 12.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. She ranks fifth in the conference in total rebounding and second in offensive rebounds (3.2 per game). Back on Dec. 31 she posted a double-double of 14 points and 12 boards against NAU. Jessica Richardson also recorded a double-double the last time she faced NAU with game-highs of 23 points and 13 rebounds. She ranks second on the team in both categories with averages of 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game overall this season.
Bostick on Southern Utah: "Rebounding is definitely going to be one of the keys going into this weekend. Southern Utah outrebounded us by 15 (the first time) and in their close loss to Montana State this past weekend, they outrebounded the Bobcats by 18. In their loss to Montana, Montana outrebounded them, so we have to be able to keep them off the offensive boards while we go to the offensive boards ourselves."
- NAU and Southern Utah will be meeting for the 34th time in school history. NAU leads the all-time series 20-13. NAU won the first meeting this season, 77-68 in overtime, on Dec. 31, 2016 in Cedar City.
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