NAU upset by Embry-Riddle in home opener

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Gilbert Ibarra scored 20 points to lead Embry-Riddle to an 82-70 upset victory over Northern Arizona on Monday night in the Lumberjacks’ home opener.

Embry-Riddle, an NAIA program, fell into an early 24-9 deficit but kept chipping away, cutting the margin to 40-36 at the break. It took its first lead on Ryan Skurdal’s 3-pointer with 18:47 left.

After three lead changes and four ties, Embry-Riddle (4-1) went on a 15-4 run to pull away. The Eagles made 15 of 26 field-goal attempts in the second half, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range. The Lumberjacks were ice cold after halftime, making just 7 of 27 shots and 1 of 10 from 3-point range.

Logan Skurdal and Jaran Hoover had 12 points apiece for Embry-Riddle, Ryan Skurdal had 10 points and Nick Johnson grabbed 14 rebounds.

Chris Bowling led Northern Arizona (0-2) with 16 points, and Torry Johnson added 10.

“I give all the credit to Embry-Riddle, they played a terrific game tonight,” NAU head coach Jack Murphy said.  “This will be a learning and growing experience moving forward, and we need to learn from it as we have a lot of games to play left on the schedule.”

Embry-Riddle won the rebounding battle 41-36 and also made 19 of 20 free throws. NAU missed 11 times from the foul line (23 of 34).

The Lumberjacks return to action on Friday, playing at Arizona State.