The NAU women’s basketball team traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to kick off the 2019-20 season against the University of New Mexico Lobos Nov. 8. NAU sought to hand New Mexico their first loss after an 80-70 win against University of California, Riverside.
The NAU offense flashed at points but sputtered down the stretch as they lost the season opener 83-76.
The Lumberjacks were on fire and opened with a 16-4 run, shooting 75% from the field. NAU continued its hot shooting throughout the rest of the first quarter, which ended with them on top 27-12. The Lumberjacks were phenomenal on offense, shooting 71% from the 3-point line and 47% from the field. Redshirt junior guard Jacey Bailey was on fire, leading the Lumberjacks with 11 points.
New Mexico responded well after trailing by 15 and outscored the Lumberjacks 20-14 in the second quarter. NAU rode its momentum through the first half and had a 41-32 lead at halftime. Bailey played strong in the second quarter, leading the Lumberjacks with 15 points. Junior forward Khiarica Rasheed was not far behind with 14 points. Three-point shots consistently worked for the Lumberjacks, who made seven and shot 58% from distance. NAU played well as a team in the first half — 11 of their 14 baskets were assisted.
A big third quarter from the Lobos gave them their first lead of the game, 56-55. NAU was outscored 24-14 in the third quarter. Being behind for the first time all game, the Lumberjacks needed to continue playing as a team for the final ten minutes to secure their first win of the season.
Bailey still led the Lumberjacks in points with 18 in the third quarter. Junior guard Lauren Orndoff asserted herself in the third quarter with 8 points.
NAU responded to their point deficit and started the fourth quarter with a 13-4 run. The Lumberjacks had a 68-60 lead with six minutes left in the game.
New Mexico battled their way back into the game. It was a 1-point Lobos lead with two and a half minutes left. The two teams traded baskets the last two minutes as it came down to the home stretch. Multiple defensive stops down the stretch enabled New Mexico to pull away late, winning 83-76. Sophomore guard for the Lobos Jayla Everett had a game high of 29 points as she wheeled her team to victory.
NAU had four players score in double figures: Bailey with 21, Rasheed with 15, redshirt Sophomore Nina Radford with 12 and Orndoff with 11.
Following today’s game, NAU will host their first home game of the season against Seattle University Nov. 2 at the Rolle Activity Center. NAU is 0-1 on the season and New Mexico 2-0.