Saturday afternoon in Flagstaff, NAU women’s basketball battled with the Weber State Wildcats and emerged victorious by a final score of 85-68.
To begin the first quarter, both teams started off shaky on opening possessions. Senior forward Khiarica Rasheed grabbed an offensive rebound and went back up quickly to score the first points of the game. From then on, both offenses traded baskets.
Weber State came out trying to establish an inside presence and pound the ball down low, but NAU did a good job switching defensively to keep the Wildcats at bay. As the first quarter wound down, redshirt senior guard Jacey Bailey hit a free throw that made her the 19th player in program history to score 1,000 career points.
“Before the game, I honestly did not know I was 7 points away from 1,000,” Bailey said. “It was a great moment.”
Junior guard Regan Schenck picked her spots well through two quarters, scoring effectively and efficiently while also providing stout perimeter defense. The point guard hit three 3-pointers in the first half as the Lumberjacks enjoyed a 38-26 lead at the intermission.
Schenck started the third quarter just as aggressive as she was in the previous two, continuing her scorching-hot accuracy.
NAU locked in defensively by alternating between man-to-man defense and their havoc-wreaking press.
On offense, the ball moved rapidly and continued finding the hot hand.
“The flow of the offense and the movement of the team is what gave me good looks,” Schenck said.
She absolutely capitalized on those looks, finishing the game with a career-high 31 points, shooting 66% from the field and adding five assists. Saturday's game against the Wildcats was the second time this season Schenck reached a new career-high point total. On Jan. 30, she dropped 27 points in an 84-81 win over Northern Colorado.
NAU’s offense just kept on rolling throughout the second half. The Lumberjacks eased up, allowing Weber State to outscore them in the fourth quarter after beating them in each of the previous three periods.
“We need to clean up our plays and execute better,” NAU head coach Loree Payne said. “We can't let off the gas in the fourth quarter and we need to find momentum to close out these games strong.”
NAU goes back to a .500 record on the year at 11-11 overall and will close out the regular season in a two-game series against Southern Utah University Feb. 25 and 27.