Yanku’s buzzer beater gives NAU thrilling win

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Kris Yanku scored on a putback as time expired, giving Northern Arizona a hard-fought 65-63 victory over Portland State on Thursday night.

"I feel great," said Lumberjacks coach Jack Murphy. "The guys battled and we pulled out the victory. To come out on the road in this conference and win is hard, but we did it tonight."

NAU certainly had to battle, going on a 9-4 run late in the second half to tie the score at 55-all with just under five minutes left to play.

The Lumberjacks (11-13, 8-5) then fell behind the Vikings 63-60 in the final minute, but Quinton Upshur hit a 3-pointer that tied the game at 63. Portland State (11-11, 6-7) missed an ensuing 3-point attempt but got the ball back on a NAU turnover.

Yanku then one-upped the Vikings by stealing the ball with 3 seconds left and getting it inside to Gaellan Bewernick, who missed a layup. But Yanku grabbed the offensive board and scored at the buzzer for the win.

With the win, the Lumberjacks remained tied for second with Northern Colorado in the Big Sky standings.

Upshur led NAU with 16 points while Ako Kaluna tallied 13 points. Bewernick added 10 points and four rebounds for the Lumberjacks, who shot 49.1 percent from the field.

DaShaun Wiggins paced Portland State with a game-high 19 points. Tim Douglas finished with 16 points, Kyle Richardson had 13 and Marcus Hall added 10. The Vikings shot 42.6 percent from the floor.

NAU led 26-25 at the break, setting the tone for a second half that included a slew of lead changes leading up to the thrilling finish in which the Lumberjacks scored the final five points.