NAU earns Big Sky’s No. 3 seed with rout of Montana

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Quinton Upshur scored 14 points as Northern Arizona dropped cold-shooting Montana 67-47 on Saturday.

Northern Arizona (15-16, 12-8 Big Sky) used a 7-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 26-21 lead at the break. Montana (17-12, 12-8) made just 5 of 19 shots before intermission.

The Lumberjacks clinched the third seed in the Big Sky tournament after they ran away in the second half, outscoring the Grizzlies 41-26 as Montana made just one basket after the 12:31 mark, a layup by Nick Emerson with 36 seconds left in the game. For the game, Montana shot 29 percent (11 of 38) and just 4 of 17 beyond the arc.

"We are definitely excited to finish the regular season this way, but this is only one chapter of the season," NAU coach Jack Murphy said. "Next for us is the conference tournament and the NCAA tournament. Our guys played their tails off with great effort from our frontcourt guys, Jordan Martin and Ako Kaluna. We played a lot of defenses and I am proud of the way we played today."

Kaluna had 12 points while Aaseem Dixon added 11 for Northern Arizona, which shot 50 percent and enjoyed a 40-21 rebounding advantage.

Kareem Jamar led Montana with 15 points, including 7 of 10 from the line. He was the only Grizzlies player in double figures.