The Lumberjacks started their first road trip of the season this weekend, as they headed to Prescott to take on the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks at the Findlay Toyota Center. Following the loss from the women’s team, the Lumberjacks looked to make the trip south worth their while as they had a dominating first-half effort to help NAU defeat the Mavericks 73-65 Sunday afternoon.
NAU looked to kick off its away game series on a positive note as the team came out on a mission, taking a large lead early in the first half.
NAU sophomore guard Cameron Shelton found his rhythm and ran with it, shooting 5-6 from the field and 2-3 at the 3-point line to help NAU finish the first half with a 25 point lead going into halftime.
“My teammates did a great job of reading the defense, allowing me to open up and get some shots,” Shelton said. “I truly have to attribute [my success] to my teammates, giving me the open shots.”
Senior guard Ted McCree Jr. came off the bench to put up his own strong first half performance, after being out with an illness for the past two games with a stomach bug. McCree finished the first period with 10 points shooting 3-4 from behind the 3-point line in a sharpshooting return to the court.
“The way we put together a win against [University of South Dakota last week] without [McCree] really shows you the kind of depth we have as a team,” NAU interim men’s basketball coach Shane Burcar said. “But at the end of the day, we need Ted McCree in order to continue to succeed at this point in the season.”
As the second half was underway, the Lumberjacks started to falter, letting fastbreaks and rebounds inch the Mavericks closer to tying the game. The Mavericks finished the second half with a roaring 45 points in an attempt to try and pull a win together.
NAU managed to hold out, keeping their composure and taking advantage of a few last minute trips to the foul line to bring home the win 73-65 as the rain cleared out over Prescott.
“I loved our energy in the first half,” Burcar said. “I think you can look at this game both ways. We can talk about the second half but there’s something to be said for being up 25 points in the first half. What a great way to learn from a win.”
With the win, the Lumberjacks are 4-2 on the season, as they spend their next two weeks on the road traveling to Orem, Utah to take on the Utah Valley University Wolverines Saturday.
“We have to have a great week at practice and preparation before heading to [Utah Valley],” Shelton said. “We had a great last few days of preparation and it translated to the court here today. If we continue to do that we’ll be set up for success heading to Utah Valley and then [University of Riverside].”