Opponent: Idaho (Wednesday, March 1/7:00 p.m.)
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Opponent: Eastern Washington (Friday, March 3/7:00 p.m.)
Location: Cheney, Wash.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Just one week, and two games, remain before the Big Sky Tournament in Reno for the Northern Arizona women's basketball team. The Lumberjacks wrap up the regular season on the road this week against two teams - Idaho on Wednesday and Eastern Washington on Friday - who have their eyes on clinching a top four spot and a first round bye in the conference tournament. Both games will start at 7 p.m. Arizona time.
NAU will also be fighting for conference tournament seeding this week. The Lumberjacks are two games behind both Weber State and Sacramento State in their efforts to move up from their current 10th-place standing. The 'Jacks dropped their only meeting with Weber State and split the season series with Sacramento State.
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 at 6:45 p.m. on both days.
- Both games will be streamed for free online at watchbigsky.com.
Robyne Bostick's Opening Thought: "The team is playing well and this is the time of the year that you want to be playing your best. Hopefully we can continue to get some players back from injuries either this week or next week. We want to finish the regular season strong. We were disappointed with the loss on Saturday to Portland State, but we're looking forward to this week and getting ready for Reno."
Previewing The 'Jacks: NAU is 8-19 overall and 4-12 in conference play following a split at home last week. The Lumberjacks defeated Sacramento State, 91-88, last Thursday before suffering an overtime loss, 74-73, to Portland State on Saturday in their home finale. Redshirt junior Olivia Lucero led the Lumberjacks with 19 points in their most recent game on Saturday. She tied her season-high with four made three-pointers and is averaging a team-high 15.3 points per game which ranks seventh in the Big Sky. Senior Rene Coggins, the newest member of the program's 1,000 point club, is coming off a 16-point performance against Portland State. In her final home game, she set a new career-high in three-pointers made, now sitting at 54 this season. Senior Brittani Lusain is just nine points shy of joining Coggins in the 1,000 point club. She scored a team-high 17 points in the first meeting against Idaho this season on Jan. 21. Freshman Raina Perez, now averaging 11.0 points per game in conference play, has scored in double-figures in five straight games. She led the Lumberjacks to a win over Eastern Washington on Jan. 19 with 15 points.
Scouting Idaho: Idaho has won three of its last four games including an 82-77 victory last Saturday at Weber State. The win followed up an 80-69 loss to Idaho State on the road. The Vandals are 15-12 overall and 10-6 in conference play. They are currently tied for fifth in the Big Sky standings and are one game out of a top four spot ensuring them a first round bye in next week's conference tournament. Mikayla Ferenz leads the conference in scoring at 18.1 points per game and ranks second with 74 three-pointers made. She is shooting 37.2 percent from behind the arc, which ranks ninth, and is tops with an 88.2 free throw percentage. She exploded for 41 points and made 9-of-10 from three against the 'Jacks earlier this season. Taylor Pierce scored 22 points in Idaho's win over NAU on Jan. 21 as she made six threes. She is third on the team averaging 12.4 points per game and is fourth in three-point shooting with 71 makes in the Big Sky.
Bostick on Idaho: "We played Idaho close at home; it was a three-point game going into the last minute. We have to be able to defend the three. (Mikayla) Ferenz and (Taylor) Pierce got hot so our defense really has to key in on those players."
Scouting Eastern Washington: Eastern Washington swept an important weekend last week with wins over Weber State (70-42) and Idaho State (61-58) on the road to claim sole possession of fourth place in the conference standings.With the two wins, the Eagles are in the driver's seat for the final first round bye at 11-5 in the Big Sky and 16-11 overall.Delaney Hodgins is the Big Sky's second leading scorer at 17.7 points per game. She ranks fourth in the conference in blocks at 1.5 per game and is shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 34.6 percent on three-pointers. Hodgins scored 20 points in her first meeting with NAU this season.Tisha Phillips is the Eagles' second-leading scorer at 13.9 points per game and she ranks third in the conference with a 42.9 three-point percentage. She also leads the team with 97 assists, but she did not play against the Lumberjacks the first time around on Jan. 19.
Bostick on Eastern Washington: "Delaney Hodgins is the key to that team and we did a good job on her defensively, and we're going to have to do the same thing this time. Having (Tisha) Phillips back will cause us to do some things differently with our matchups and we're going to have to be strong defensively."
- NAU and Idaho will be meeting for the 25th time in school history. Idaho leads the all-time series 16-8. Idaho won the first meeting this season, 91-80, on Jan. 21, 2017 in Flagstaff.
- NAU and Eastern Washington will be meeting for the 63rd time in school history. Eastern Washington leads the all-time series 36-26. NAU won the first meeting this season, 56-47, on Jan. 19, 2017 in Flagstaff.
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