The 9-20 Lumberjacks faced off against the 21-9 Northern Colorado Bears in their last game of the regular season. The Bears are the second highest ranked team in the Big Sky Conference and have the 10th ranked scorer in the nation, Jordan Davis, who averages 24 points per game.
NAU started the game shooting 7-12 from the floor and leading the Bears 17-12 in the first 7 minutes of the game. The Lumberjacks expended a lot of energy on defense keying UNC’s top scorer Jordan Davis. UNC came back for a 19-4 run for the next 8 minutes of the game. NAU was able to keep Davis to only 5 points in the first half but struggled guarding the rest of the game. UNC lead at halftime 35-29.
In the second half, NAU struggled to get back into the game. Luke Avdalovic hit shots that brought the Lumberjacks within 3 points of the Bears with 5:30 left in the game.
The final 30 seconds was back and forth with both teams getting to the free-throw line and having 3 lead changes.
The game went into overtime after a free throw taken by UNC’s Jonah Radebaugh with 1.7 seconds left.
In overtime, NAU came out on top. They outscored the Bears 15-4 in extra play and are coming home after upsetting the second seed in the Big Sky Conference 89-78
Prime Performer / Turning Point: Sophomore forward Bernie Andre scored 26 points, 7 rebounds and shot 8-17 from the court.
With 31 seconds left, Bernie Andre hit a clutch 3-pointer to give NAU the first lead since the first half of the game. Since that shot, NAU didn't let UNC get any momentum going and took the game into their own hands.
Best quote: “Anyone can beat anyone on a given night, I think we are playing as well as we have played all year long, our confidence is through the roof as it should be," said head coach Jack Murphy.
What’s next?: NAU’s next challenge will come from March 13-16 in the Big Sky Conference tournament. Depending on the rest of the games this year will determine who NAU plays first in the tournament. Right now they are in the ninth seed in the conference and if this stays, they will be facing off against the eighth seed, Sacramento State. NAU has faced them twice with one win and one loss.