NAU overcome by Portland State

NAU can't make early lead hold up as skid hits three games with 79-74 loss to Portland State.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Renado Parker was one of five players in double figures for Portland State, scoring 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds to lead the Vikings past Northern Arizona 79-74 on Saturday night.

Lateef McMullan, Michael Harthun and Gary Winston each scored 13 points for Portland State (5-8, 3-3 Big Sky) while Aaron Moore had 12 points thanks to an 8-for-9 performance from the free-throw line.

Portland State shot an even 50 percent from the field, making 26 of 52 shots, and recovered from an early 7-0 deficit after NAU hit its first three shots.

The Lumberjacks (5-11, 2-4) led for much of the first half, but the Vikings used a 17-10 run over the final 9:05 to take a 34-32 lead at halftime. Portland State never trailed in the second half.

The Lumberjacks cut the deficit to one at 63-62 with 4:50 left, but Portland State then went on a 9-2 run that was highlighted by two 3-pointers by Gary Winston. NAU made a final push behind back-to-back baskets by Max Jacobsen, who finished with 14 points, pulling to within 77-74 on a three-point play by Gabe Rogers with nine seconds left. But the Vikings hit their free throws in the final seconds to seal the win.

Rogers led NAU with 17 points and four assists. Gaellan Bewernick added 14 points while freshman DeWayne Russell finished with 10.

“That is NAU basketball and how we want to play,” said Lumberjacks coach Jack Murphy. "... I thought the guys played tough man-to-man defense and I liked our effort. There is a lot to build on.”

It was NAU's third consecutive loss. The Lumberjacks went 8 for 13 from 3-point range and finished at better than 50 percent from the floor for the fourth time this season but were done in by 18 turnovers.

Senior guard Stallon Saldivar moved into third on the school’s all-time assists list with six dishes in the game to go along with eight rebounds and six points.

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