Ordnoff scores 20 points to help take down the Redhawks

Junior redshirt guard Caitlin Malvar (3) sits on the sidelines and watches her fellow players, Nov. 16. NAU faced the Seattle University Redhawks in the Rolle Activity Center and won 88-80.

The NAU women's basketball team tipped off against the Seattle University Redhawks at 2 p.m. in the Rolle Activity Center Saturday. This was NAU’s home opener after a loss at New Mexico University. Meanwhile, Seattle University looked to bounce back from a 25-point blowout loss at Idaho State University.

NAU came out strong and started the game with an 11-3 run over the Redhawks.

Senior guard Kamira Sanders put up 20 points for Seattle while NAU junior forward Khiarica Rasheed and NAU junior guard Lauren Orndoff both put up 12 first-half points for the Lumberjacks. NAU shot 41.7% from the field along with 40% from three. The Lumberjacks also out rebounded the Redhawks in the first half, 27-17.

The teams broke for halftime with NAU leading 46-37.

NAU had a 10 point lead a majority of the third quarter until a 3-pointer buzzer-beater from Redhawks sophomore guard Courtney Murphy, which brought Seattle's deficit to 65-58 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Redhawks were able to take a 66-65 lead off an 11-0 run to get back in the game.

Both teams went back-and-forth with four lead changes in the fourth quarter, although NAU began to pull away and control the lead again. Redshirt junior forward Brianna Lehew hit a big 3-pointer to push the Lumberjacks to an 81-74 lead.

One of NAU's top scorers of the game, Rasheed, fouled out with 2:02 left to play. She ended the game with 16 points.

Ordnoff would reenter the game to hit a dagger and-one layup, which gave the Lumberjacks a 10 point lead with less than two minutes to play. She shot 7-8 from the field and finished as NAU’s top scorer with 20 points.

Hitting these types of big shots comes naturally to Ordnoff because of her work ethic during practice.

“We do it in practice and my teammates help me out," Ordnoff said. "I have confidence going into it in games. It’s no different than practice.”

Seattle didn’t make a single field goal in the last 3:17 of play. They missed their final six shots of the game and ultimately only held the lead for 1:34 of game time. NAU out rebounded the Redhawks 50-38 in the game.

Sanders was a force for Seattle the entire game. She scored 30 of the team’s points and shot 12-26 from the field.

NAU improved to 1-1 and looks to carry the momentum into next Thursday's game as they travel to California to take on the California Baptist University Lancers.