One glaring stat sums up the return of NAU men’s basketball from five-straight canceled games against Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
NAU attempted 18 3-pointers. Weber State made 18 3-pointers.
It was that kind of night for the Lumberjacks as they returned after a 20-day absence due to pandemic protocols. The last three weeks were odd for NAU as they took on the University of Northern Colorado Jan. 29. However, that game was played one day later due to an active COVID-19 case in the NAU program. Somehow, the game was still played a day later, which led to five-straight cancellations.
The Lumberjacks ended up with cancellations against Northern Colorado, Sacramento State and Portland State.
The timing could not have been worse for NAU as they won a hard-fought battle against Northern Colorado, which looked like a potential turnaround moment for the team to end the season strong before the Big Sky Conference Tournament.
The pause in play did them no favors as they looked sluggish and Weber State pounced from beyond the arc.
The Wildcats moved the ball with urgency and assertion to find open 3-pointers and easy lanes to the basket.
Senior guard Isiah Brown was a man on fire for Weber State as he totaled a Wildcat career-high 31 points, shooting 11-for-17 from the field and hitting six 3-pointers. Sophomore guards Seikou Sisoho Jawara and KJ Cunningham also contributed from downtown, shooting a combined 7-for-14.
When they were not hitting from the perimeter, senior forwards Michal Kozak and Cody Carlson controlled the paint, combining for 26 points.
The Lumberjacks just never found a rhythm. Redshirt sophomore forward Keith Haymon had a solid first half with nine points, but failed to score in the final 20 minutes.
Junior guard Cameron Shelton reached the free throw line a handful of times and finished with his 12th performance of the season scoring over 20 points.
NAU falls to 5-12 on the season with a conference record of 4-7. The Lumberjacks sit at second-worst in the Big Sky and are facing an uphill battle if they want to make a run at the NCAA Tournament.