The Lumberjacks headed to Missoula, Montana to face off against the University of Montana Grizzlies in their antepenultimate game of the Big Sky Conference. The previous time these teams faced each other, NAU was unable to clinch a win with a 79-71 loss at home against Montana. The Lumberjacks lost 70-57 and are 0-2 against the Grizzlies on the year.
The scoring would begin a few minutes into the first quarter with a layup by NAU redshirt sophomore forward Nina Radford. The Lumberjacks held the lead 18-8 against Montana to end the first quarter. NAU shot 1-for-3 to start the game while Montana shot 1-for-5.
Montana made a comeback against the Lumberjacks, scoring 19 points in the second quarter while NAU only scored 10 points. Montana finished the half with a 3-pointer in the last three seconds by redshirt senior guard Taylor Goligoski, cutting NAU's lead to 28-27.
The first points weren't scored until 2:08 into the quarter by Montana redshirt senior guard McKenzie Johnston on a 2-point jumper. NAU had a rough start to the third quarter, missing its first six shots, but picking it back up to go on a 4-to-2 scoring run. However, Montana had a 5-to-0 scoring run to respond. Montana finished the quarter with another 3-pointer with two seconds left on the clock by Goligoski to give the Grizzlies a 46-42 lead.
Montana got off to a hot start in the fourth quarter thanks to NAU's seven straight missed shots. NAU didn't have a lead for the rest of the game, resulting in a 70-57 loss.
NAU had two players score double-digit points. Radford had 13 points and junior forward Khiarica Rasheed had 17 points. The team also had a combined 40 rebounds. Redshirt junior guard Jacey Bailey grabbed 10 boards, while Rasheed and redshirt junior guard Caitlin Malvar grabbed 6 rebounds each.
With the loss, NAU’s overall record goes down to 15-12 and 12-6 in the Big Sky Conference. The Lumberjacks continue on their road trip to Bozeman, Montana to face the Montana State University Bobcats Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and look to split the season series.