NAU’s furious rally axes Kent State in OT of CIT semifinals

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Northern Arizona’s Quinton Upshur dropped in the game-winning layup to stun Kent State and send the Lumberjacks into the Postseason Tournament semifinals with a 74-73 overtime win at the Walkup Skydome on Friday night.

Upshur’s final basketball gave NAU its only lead over the overtime period. NAU trailed by as many as five points in overtime, but ended the game on a 6-0 run.     

"I haven’t been a part of many like that where you’re down by five with 30 seconds (left) and come back. That was pretty special," NAU coach Jack Murphy said. "They have had fight and a never give up attitude all season and that’s what I love about this team. Tonight was electric. To see this many fans cheering us on at home was a great feeling. I knew something special was in the air, and I hope we can carry this momentum over to next week."

Jordyn Martin recorded his second career double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Springs registered his first career double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds, plus three blocked shots. It was the first time this season two Lumberjacks had a double-double in the same game. Yanku finished with a team-high 19 points and Sixon added 16 points.

"We cannot thank the crowd enough for their support tonight," said Dixon. "Coach (Murphy) told us to trust each other and we would be able to pull this out and that’s exactly what we did."

There were nine ties and nine lead changes in the second half as Kris Yanku connected on a free throw with 1:24 to go in the second half to tie the game at 61. NAU had two chances to win it in regulation, but neither shot fell.

Devareaux Manley led Kent State with 25 points, while Jackson added 18 points. Jimmy Hall had a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds. The Golden Flashes ended their season 23-12 overall.