FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Northern Arizona shot a blazing 11-of-16 from the 3-point line (.688) and didn't trail the final 15 minutes of the contest on the way to a 75-65 victory over Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game Thursday evening at the Walkup Skydome.
The Lumberjacks got the majority of their 3-pointers from Quinton Upshur (5-for-5) and Aaseem Dixon (5-for-9) who combined to go 10-for-14 from distance. Northern Arizona also used a healthy advantage at the free throw line that saw the Lumberjacks attempt 18 more freebies than the Hornets. The Lumberjacks went 16-for-28 from the charity stripe while the Hornets went just 5-for-10. NAU shot 23 free throws in the second half compared to just three for the Hornets.
Sacramento State also shot well from beyond the arc, knocking down 10-of-18 (.556) from distance, but converted on 11 less free throws which proved to be the difference in the game. Both teams shot nearly identical percentages from the field, including .481 (25-52) for the Hornets, and .480 (24-50) for the Lumberjacks.
With the loss, Sacramento State, which was playing the third leg of its four-game road trip to open the conference season, dropped to 4-8 overall and 0-3 on the road. The Hornets have now lost three straight games for the first time since the end of the 2011-12 season. Sacramento State is the only team in the conference that will play each of its first four Big Sky games on the road, and the team will conclude the road trip Saturday evening at Southern Utah.
Northern Arizona, which a week ago dealt Montana its first home loss to a conference opponent in over three years, improved to 5-9 overall and 2-1 in the Big Sky. The Hornets continue to have trouble on the road at NAU as the team is now 2-20 all-time against the Lumberjacks in Flagstaff.
Neither team led by more than seven points in an entertaining first half that saw Sacramento State eventually grab a 32-31 lead at the break. The score was tied on four separate occasions during the first 4:30 of the second half before NAU went on a 14-3 run to take a game-high 13-point lead (56-43) with 7:15 to play. During the run, NAU buried four 3-pointers, including triples on back-to-back possessions by Upshur. In fact, Upshur buried three 3-pointers during the spurt, and 11 of his 18 points came in the second half.
Sacramento State did claw back to within six points of the NAU lead on three different occasions late in the game, but the Lumberjacks responded by scoring on their next possession each time to keep the contest at a three-possession game. The Hornets drained four 3-pointers during the game's final 4:37 to make things interesting.
NAU held healthy advantages over the Hornets in rebounding (33-26) and points off turnovers (20-12). Sacramento State did turn eight offensive rebounds into eight second-chance points, and outscored the Lumberjacks, 26-16, in points in the paint.
For the Hornets, junior Mikh McKinney led the way with 15 points, four rebounds, six assists, and shot 6-of-11 from the field and 2-for-4 from the 3-point line. The shooting guard also had just one turnover in 34 minutes of play, and 10 of his points came in the second half. Joining McKinney in double figures was junior point guard Dylan Garrity who had 12 points and three assists in 34 minutes, knocking down 4-of-6 attempts from the 3-point line.
Swingman Cody Demps added nine points and four rebounds for the Hornets, true freshman Nick Hornsby chipped in five points, two assists and a team-best five rebounds despite playing just 10 minutes, and post players Alex Tiffin and Jordan Salley both had six points. Six different Sacramento State players buried at least one 3-pointer, including Garrity, McKinney, Demps, Hornsby, Zach Mills and Dreon Barlett. Mills had scored at least 14 points in the first two conference games before finishing with five tonight.
For NAU, Dixon (22), Upshur (18) and Max Jacobsen (17) combined for 57 of the team's 75 points and all three players finished the game shooting better than 50 percent from the field. Both Jacobsen and Dixon were 7-for-13 from the floor. Gaellan Bewernick, Len Springs and Dixon each had seven rebounds.
Sacramento State will play Saturday night at Southern Utah at 6:05 p.m. PST. After that contest, the Hornets will play six of their next eight games at home, including next week on Thursday vs. Portland State and Saturday vs. Eastern Washington.
May 23, 2014 HORNET HOOPS GOLF TOURNAMENT SET FOR MONDAY, JUNE 9
April 28, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS TO HOST SEASON WRAPUP/SIGNING PARTY ON MAY 8
March 10, 2014 TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR BIG SKY MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
February 28, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD GAME SATURDAY AT IDAHO ST.
February 27, 2014 WINNING STREAK SNAPPED, MEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS AT WEBER STATE, 79-67
February 26, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO WEBER STATE ON THURSDAY, SEEKS 4TH STRAIGHT WIN
February 24, 2014 VOTE GARRITY’S 75-FOOT SHOT FOR GEICO PLAY OF THE YEAR
February 24, 2014 McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR A SECOND TIME
February 22, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL CONTINUES TO ROLL AFTER CRUSHING NORTHERN COLORADO
February 21, 2014 FREE WHITEOUT SHIRTS TO THE FIRST 500 FANS AT SATURDAY’S HOOPS GAME
February 21, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 7TH STRAIGHT HOME WIN SATURDAY VS. NORTHERN COLO.
February 19, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 6TH STRAIGHT HOME WIN THURSDAY VS. NORTH DAKOTA
February 14, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO PORTLAND STATE ON SATURDAY
February 13, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL HAS WINNING STREAK SNAPPED AT EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 12, 2014 WINNERS OF FOUR STRAIGHT, MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 10, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS BEATS SOUTHERN UTAH, COMPLETES HOMESTAND WITH 4-0 RECORD
February 9, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 4TH STRAIGHT WIN, HOSTS SOUTHERN UTAH ON MONDAY
February 6, 2014 WINNING STREAK AT THREE AFTER MEN’S HOOPS DISMANTLES NAU, 87-70
February 5, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME THURSDAY NIGHT VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA
February 3, 2014 McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
January 31, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL’S SIXTH-ANNUAL ALUMNI GAMES TAKE PLACE SATURDAY
January 31, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS HOST BIG SKY-LEADING WEBER STATE ON SATURDAY NIGHT
January 29, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS LONG HOMESTAND THURSDAY VS. IDAHO STATE
January 25, 2014 BIG DISPARITIES HURT IN MEN’S HOOPS LOSS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
January 24, 2014 ROAD WEARY MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS AT NORTHERN COLORADO ON SATURDAY
January 23, 2014 NORTH DAKOTA USES LATE RUN TO BEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
January 21, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL BACK ON THE ROAD THURSDAY AT NORTH DAKOTA
January 18, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL KNOCKS OFF EASTERN WASHINGTON AT HOME, 75-64
January 17, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS EASTERN WASHINGTON ON SATURDAY NIGHT
January 15, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS FINALLY RETURNS HOME, HOSTS PORTLAND STATE ON THURSDAY
January 11, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS CRUSHES SOUTHERN UTAH, ENDS ROAD TRIP IN A BIG WAY
January 10, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS ROAD TRIP COMES TO AN END SATURDAY AT SOUTHERN UTAH
January 8, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS CONTINUES ROAD TRIP THURSDAY AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
January 2, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL DROPS BIG SKY OPENER AT MONTANA STATE
December 31, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY THURSDAY AT MONTANA STATE
December 29, 2013 LATE FREE THROWS HELP DELIVER 69-67 MEN’S HOOPS WIN OVER UC RIVERSIDE
December 27, 2013 AFTER LONG LAYOFF, MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS UC RIVERSIDE SUNDAY AFTERNOON
December 21, 2013 BIG SECOND HALF FUELS CAL STATE FULLERTON TO VICTORY OVER MEN’S HOOPS
December 19, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYS AT CAL STATE FULLERTON ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON
December 14, 2013 MEN’S HOOPS CRUISES TO 85-54 WIN OVER WILLIAM JESSUP
December 12, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS WILLIAM JESSUP ON SATURDAY AT 7 P.M.
December 7, 2013 UTEP USES HEALTHY FREE THROW ADVANTAGE TO BEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
December 4, 2013 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO EL PASO FOR FIRST EVER MEETING WITH UTEP
November 30, 2013 UC IRVINE USES BIG SECOND HALF TO DEFEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
November 29, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS UC IRVINE SATURDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.
November 26, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL COMES THROUGH WITH CLUTCH WIN AT UC DAVIS, 73-67
November 25, 2013 MEN'S HOOPS AND UC DAVIS TO PLAY FOR THE 112TH TIME ON TUESDAY
November 18, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO #22 UCLA
November 15, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO #24 UCLA ON MONDAY
November 13, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNS MIRA COSTA HIGH SCHOOL FORWARD JUSTIN STRINGS
November 13, 2013 BAKERSFIELD HOT FROM DISTANCE IN 74-66 WIN OVER MEN’S BASKETBALL
November 12, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL BEGINS ROAD TRIP WEDNESDAY AT CSU BAKERSFIELD
November 8, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL BEATS UC SANTA CRUZ, 73-43, IN SEASON OPENER
November 6, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL GETS UNDERWAY FRIDAY NIGHT VS. UC SANTA CRUZ
November 5, 2013 2013-14 MEN’S BASKETBALL MEDIA GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE
October 28, 2013 2013-14 MEN'S BASKETBALL SEASON OUTLOOK
October 17, 2013 BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL COACHES AND MEDIA PRESEASON POLLS RELEASED
September 24, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON COMING FAST, FIRST OFFICIAL PRACTICE ON FRIDAY
July 23, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL RELEASES ITS 2013-14 SCHEDULE