NAU wins on free throws in final seconds

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gabe Rogers scored 22 points, 16 in the second half, and Michael Dunn made two free throws with 7 seconds remaining to help Northern Arizona beat Sacramento State 62-61 Monday night.

Max Jacobsen added 16 points for the Lumberjacks (8-14, 5-7 Big Sky), who led only in the first two minutes and the last two minutes of the game. Sacramento State led 51-37 with 11:17 to play after John Dickson’s 3-pointer.

NAU  then went on a 14-2 run, capped by Dunn’s dunk with 5:15 to play that cut the Hornets’ lead to 53-51. Rogers’ 3-pointer with 2:14 to go put the Lumberjacks up 58-56, their first lead since 4-3.

Mikh McKinney scored with 19 seconds left to put Sacramento State (10-10, 5-7) in front 61-60, but Dunn was fouled on a drive to the basket and hit both free throws.

Dickson and Dylan Garrity led the Hornets with 13 points, and McKinney scored 12.  Garrity missed a shot at the buzzer that would have won the game for the Hornets.

“You cannot say enough about Mike (Dunn),” said NAU coach Jack Murphy. “He was really big stepping up to the line and hitting the free throws. We finished the game on the defensive end which is what we have been talking about. I was really proud of our guys.

“The guys battled the entire game. When we got stops, we were able to get out in transition which got us open looks. I thought once we got the momentum we did a good job of taking advantage of it.”

Jacobsen was 8 of 11 from the field, and the Lumberjacks shot 54 percent as a team.

“Max did a fantastic job,” said Murphy. “I am really proud of his development and we need to continue to get him touches every game and be more consistent with our post game.”

NAU returns home for two important Big Sky Conference games starting against Portland State on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. Eastern Washington visits on Saturday for a 1:05 afternoon contest.

“This win gives us a lot of momentum,” said Murphy. ‘We had to steal a road win to make up for some of the home loses we have had. Now the challenge is protect the home court. We have two very talented and well-coached teams coming in this week.”

Thursday is “Think Pink” and “NAU Faculty/Staff Night”. The first 500 fans will receive pink rally towels as all fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. All NAU Faculty & Staff may order discounted reserved tickets online by using the code FSJACKS or by calling 928-523-5661. At halftime, faculty and staff from various colleges will be competing in a free throw competition.

It is also the second of three “School Nights”. Students who attend local DeMiguel, Kinsey, Marshall and Seachrist schools receive a $5 ticket discount for them and their guests.