NAU men's basketball packed their bags after an impressive road win over Southern Utah to face the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) at Bank of Colorado Arena. The Bears were 7-0 at home entering the game, compared to the Lumberjacks who were 3-5 on the road.
The Lumberjack's defense was sturdy on the Bears' 3-point attempts, holding them to 4-18 from deep. NAU's 42.9% field goal shooting, compared to UNC's 31.3%, helped the Lumberjacks go into halftime with a 32-28 lead.
UNC came out of halftime ready fight for its undefeated home record with sophomore guard Bodie Hume making a tough layup at the rim and making one at the free-throw line shortly thereafter to cut the lead to 34-31.
The back-and-forth battle intensified as the Bears clawed closer to regaining the lead with every offensive possession. With 12 minutes left, UNC's 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Kur Jockuch made a layup to give the Bears the lead 40-41.
UNC junior guard Matt Johnson kept his foot on the pedal and hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Bears the lead with 10:30 left to play in the half. Johnson finished the game with 17 points.
On the next two possessions, senior forward Brooks DeBisschop and redshirt sophomore guard Luke Avdalovic scored cutting the lead down to three with 8:31 left to play in the game.
UNC was not ready to give up the lead, as it scored 7 points on the next three possessions, including another 3-pointer by Hume. The Lumberjacks were down by 10 points, 54-44.
NAU got the ball, and DeBisschop scored a midrange jumper. Then junior guard Cameron Satterwhite drove into the lane, dodging bodies and making a tough and-one basket. Satterwhite made the free throw to give the Lumberjacks a chance with 4:50 left in the game.
UNC called a timeout immediately.
Redshirt senior guard Jonah Radebaugh made a shot for the Bears, which was answered by a Satterwhite jump-shot. On the very next possession, Satterwhite makes another and-one layup and hits the free throw to give him 16 points on the night. The Lumberjacks were down 56-54 with 3:19 left.
Shortly after, Radebaugh makes a jumper to give him 11 points on the night — this would be the last time the Bears would score.
On the next three possessions, Avdalovic, DeBisschop and sophomore guard Cameron Shelton each scored 2 points to give the Lumberjack's the lead 60-58 with 48 seconds to play. Junior forward Bernie Andre and Shelton were both fouled and made all their free throws to seal the win on the road 64-58.
The Lumberjacks were 13-14 from the free-throw line, consistently nailing those shots when they mattered, most notably in the final minutes of the game.
NAU, with two big road wins, is coming home to the Walkup Skydome to play Portland State University Saturday. The Lumberjacks are now 9-7 overall and 3-4 in conference play.