FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Parker Kelly hit an overtime-forcing 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to cap a furious comeback, then made another 3 in the extra session as Eastern Washington shocked Northern Arizona 77-74 on Saturday.
Kelly finished with 19 points for the Eagles (7-17, 5-9 Big Sky), who trailed 58-40 with 7:35 to play after NAU’s Gabe Rogers hit a jumper. But Eastern Washington didn’t allow a field goal the rest of regulation and closed the game on a 26-8 run.
In overtime, Kelly’s 3-pointer followed one by Tyler Harvey that gave
the Eagles a 69-67 lead, their first since midway through the first
half. Harvey added another 3 with 1:23 left, and Jeffrey Forbes made two
free throws with 9 seconds to play.
Rogers, who led the Lumberjacks (9-15, 6-8) with 25 points, missed a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“We didn’t finish it out as a team,” said NAU coach Jack Murphy. “We did
not make the plays we needed to at the end of the game in regulation
and in overtime to win. They were the more intelligent team in the final
10 minutes of regulation and overtime. It is a direct reflection on me.
I am disappointed in myself.”
NAU’s loss came despite a triple-double from Stallon Saldivar, the first in school history. Saldivar finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
“He has been building up to that for a while now,” said Murphy. “He is
an unbelievable human being and basketball player. He gets the most out
of his body than anyone I have ever known. He maximizes every ounce of
his talent. You have to give him all the credit in the world for
battling in there for rebounds and being smart and intelligent with the
assists. I wish we would have got the win so Stallon could celebrate
Eastern Washington’s win was its first on the road this season.
NAU travels to Northern Colorado on Thursday for the first of two road games this week, then plays at North Dakota on Saturday.