Women's basketball took on the University of Montana Grizzlies in the Walkup Skydome March 4. After an explosive start by NAU and a stellar performance by sophomore forward Jacey Bailey, NAU swept the board with a 82-65 win.
In the first quarter, the Lumberjacks hit three straight 3-pointers in a row and made 5 of their first six shots. They started off with a 13-0 run, but the offense wasn’t the only part of their game that was working. They played aggressive defense throughout the quarter only allowing Montana 3 of their 14 shots. NAU's suffocating trap press and their ability to be vocal in the half court gave them the edge. Bailey put up another career-high night to follow her 23 point double-double the last game. At the end of the first quarter Bailey had racked up 15 points.
In the second quarter, NAU had a commanding 29-10 lead. The lead slowly diminished but NAU maintained control ending the first half with a ten point lead of 44-34.
The Lumberjacks led the second half of the game with their aggressive and vocal defense. Montana was held to 36 percent from the field and 26 percent from three. NAU on the other hand, was just as explosive on the offensive end. They were 54 percent from the field and 52 percent from beyond the arc.
Throughout the game, Bailey was automatic from the 3-point line, shooting 8-10 from the field. She made incredible fadeaway layups, walking away with a career-high and team-high for the season of 36 points.
Turning Point: NAU’s 13-0 lead in the first quarter propelled them through the game. The run was sparked by back-to-back-to-back triples, followed by inside jumpers. Montana stayed in a hole the rest of the game.
Prime Performer: Jacey Bailey for the second game in a row came out with another career-high performance. Her teammates kept feeding her the ball from the outside and it paid off. She was unstoppable from beyond the marker, hitting 8 of 10. Bailey showed off some fast-break layups, ending the night with 36 points, by far her most on the season.
Best quote: “Super proud of her, she just continues to get better and better throughout the year. For her, it’s just getting that confidence. I think she put a good foot forward in potentially getting newcomer of the year. I don’t know if there is any other newcomer this year that’s putting up the numbers she has in conference.” Coach Payne said.
What's next: NAU will challenge Northern Colorado this Saturday, March 9 in the Walkup Skydome. With this win, the Lumberjacks are 7-12 in conference play and 11-17 overall.