Rogers scores 25 as NAU tops Portland State

Gabe Rogers hits career-high seven 3-pointers as NAU holds off Portland State 79-72.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Gabe Rogers tied his career best with seven 3-pointers and finished with 25 points, pacing Northern Arizona to a 79-72 victory over Portland State.

Rogers, playing his 100th career game, was 7 from 11 from 3-point range for the Lumberjacks (9-14, 6-7 Big Sky).

NAU jumped out to a big 51-35 lead at halftime after making nine of their first 10 shots from the field to take a 10-point lead just over six minutes into the contest. Their-first half point total was their highest in a half this season, and they shot 63 percent from the floor during that span.

DeWayne Russell scored 15 points for NAU and teammate Stallon Saldivar posted his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.

“Gabe is one of our leaders, and he has been stroking it really well,” said Saldivar. “It has been fun to see. He probably had seven of my assists. He has been shooting really well.”

Portland State (8-15, 3-10) got 19 points from Aaron Moore and 18 from Renado Parker. Parker also had 13 rebounds and Moore had 11.

The Lumberjacks opened the second half missing eight straight from the field and finished at just 33 percent in the second half. The Vikings cut into the lead, trailing by just four points at the 10:49 mark after a 17-5 run to start the second half.

“Once we got it back under control, got the ball inside-out and got our defense aligned, we were able to get some scores in transition to get back going,” said NAU coach Jack Murphy.

Rogers ended the run with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to seven. Portland State cut the lead to four again with 5:29 left, but NAU squashed the comeback with a 6-0 run of its own to push the lead back to 10.

“This game is a game of runs,” said Rogers. “Their back was against the wall, and they came out firing in the second half. It was good for us that we buckled down when they made their run.”

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