NAU women’s basketball five-game win streak was shattered as they lost on the road to Portland State University (PSU) 66-54 Saturday. Two standout players for the Lumberjacks were junior forward Khiarica Rasheed and redshirt junior guard Jacey Bailey; both players had double-digit points and rebounds. The story of the Lumberjacks was struggling with shots behind the arc, finishing with under 20% shots made.
In the first quarter, NAU was getting the ball around the court, causing PSU to make mistakes. However, NAU couldn’t take off with the lead. NAU had two big turnovers, which helped PSU close the gap. The first quarter finished with NAU in the lead, 16-12.
NAU could not roll with the momentum, as the half ended with PSU taking a 33-23 lead.
It was a rollercoaster of a half for NAU, first leading by 9 points in the first quarter and then going into halftime down 10 points. The struggle for the Lumberjacks was getting the ball in the net, as the team shot 25% in the first half and were only 1-9 behind the arc. The solo 3-pointer came from redshirt sophomore forward Nina Radford.
Bailey was rather quiet on offense in the first half, but got a pass from Radford and was able to score the first basket in the second half. Bailey found her groove and was chipping away at the lead with back to back baskets. Bailey put up a shot from the corner behind the arc and was a nothing-but-net swish to bring the score to 38-30 with PSU still in the lead. PSU junior guard Kylie Jimenez retaliated and scored a 3-pointer to bring the momentum back to the Vikings. The shots behind the arc kept coming and PSU freshman guard Cassidy Gardner had back-to-back 3-pointers.
With less than 10 seconds left in the third quarter, the ball was inbounded to Jimenez who was fouled and brought to the line with one second left on the clock. The once 10-point lead was now stretched to 14 points and became more out of reach for the Lumberjacks with one quarter left to play. NAU honed in on the lead, bringing the score to a 6-point deficit.
When NAU switched back to man-to-man coverage, the Vikings dropped two baskets to bring the lead to 61-49 with a little more than two minutes remaining in the game. With some help from Bailey, the Lumberjacks were able to get some more points on the board, but not enough to take over the lead as PSU won 66-54.
The Lumberjacks get a short break before their next road matchup against Sacramento State University Monday. NAU saw the Hornets earlier this month and won in double overtime.