NAU can't hold off Big Sky-leading Weber St.
JAN 17, 2013 8:32p ET
Joel Bolomboy had 13 points and 13 rebounds for Weber State (12-3, 7-0 Big Sky) and Davion Berry scored 17 points, going a perfect 6 for 6 from the free-throw line.
The Lumberjacks led 31-30 on a layup from Max Jacobsen with 2:52 remaining in the first half, but Weber State closed out the half on an 8-0 run to lead 38-31 at halftime. The Wildcats led by as many as 14 in the second half and never trailed again.
Jacobsen finished with 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds for Northern Arizona (5-12, 2-5), which shot an even 50 percent from the field in the game.
“Before the game we talked about playing 200 minutes,” said NAU coach Jack Murphy. “I thought out of the 200 minutes in the game we played about 180 minutes. For us, it was little minute and two-minute spurts that cost us tonight. Our offense was really good and we moved the basketball and shot 50 percent from floor for the second straight game.”
Weber State extended the lead in the second half and held off the Lumberjacks with a huge advantage on the free throw line, shooting 29 of 33 for the game after an 8-for-8 first half. NAU went just 8 of 15 from the charity stripe.
“We have to do a better job of keeping teams off the foul line,” said Murphy. “For the second straight game we were out-shot on the foul line by double digits. Honestly, that came down to be the deciding factor. They made their free throws and we sent them there too much. We did not make ours when we had the opportunity.”
The Lumberjacks turned the ball over just seven times, but the Wildcats recorded nine blocks.
NAU had four players in double figures in the game. Freshman guard DeWayne Russell added 15 points, while Utah native Stallon Saldivar had 12 points and senior guard Gabe Rogers chipped in 11.
“We are doing a great job of sharing the basketball, and once again Max led the way in the post,” said Murphy. “He is getting great looks at the basket. It is a credit to the guards and the four-man with him on the floor. We are getting him the ball where he can score.”
The Lumberjacks have lost four straight and seven of the last eight overall.
“It is a game we can learn from but ultimately it is another loss, and we have to start winning some games,” said Murphy.
“It is not any one thing. It is an accumulation of the smaller, little plays that we have to make. For us to compete, especially against the best team Weber State, we have to play pretty darn well for the entire game. We cannot go through stretches where we do not play as well. They did a great job of taking advantage when we had our miscues.”
NAU travels to Pocatello, Idaho, to take on Idaho State on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
“For us, it is about mental preparation from this point forward,” said Murphy. “We had a tough game on the road and we need to rest up Friday and be ready to go on Saturday.”
The game will be broadcast on 105.1 The Big Talker in Flagstaff. Fans can also watch the game on Big Sky TV.