Lumberjacks edge Div. II Cal Baptist in exhibition

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Junior forward Jordyn Martin registered a double-double to lead the Northern Arizona men’s basketball team to an 87-82 victory over Division II Cal Baptist. The game was the first chance for Lumberjack fans to see the Big Sky preseason top three favorites.  

"I thought we played really well, and towards the end we had a little flow," NAU coach Jack Murphy said. "We are going to have to do a better job rebounding as we move forward. We had plenty of opportunities tonight to put the game away, but we didn’t."

After shooting 48.5 percent in the first half, NAU returned in the second half to shoot 55.6 percent from the floor. The Lumberjacks spread the ball well as they led by as many as 11 points in the second half. NAU went 4-for-6 from the free throw line in the final two minutes to help hold off the surging Lancers who scored 11 points in the final two minutes of the game.

"We need Jordyn to have that force all the time. He had a good game tonight," Murphy said. "Gaellan was good all-around and his leadership was solid tonight. We depend on him to be very versatile and he was tonight."

Aaseem Dixon recorded a team-high 16 points, as he went 5-for-8 from the floor and tallied four points from the free throw line. In addition to Martin and Dixon, four other players scored in double figures — Quinton Upshur (13), Jaleni Neely (12), Ako Kaluna (11) and Kris Yanku (10).

"Tonight we moved the ball really well and got some easy buckets in transition," Dixon said. "We were able to finish strong and when we stopped them on defense it led to our guards creating opportunities on offense."

Gelaun Wheelwright led the Lancers with 22 points and a game-high five made three-pointers. Second on the team was Taj Spencer, son of former NAU great Andre Spencer. He was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line to finish with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds. The Lancers finished the game 42.6 percent from the floor, 35.7 percent from long range, and 76.9 percent from the free throw line.

The Lumberjacks will officially open the season on Nov. 14 at Xavier.

NOTES: NAU led 46-38 at halftime. … Double-figure scorers: Aaseem Dixon (16), Jordyn Martin (14), Quinton Upshur (13), Jaleni Neely (12), Ako Kaluna (11) and Kris Yanku (10). … Martin registered a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.