– The Northern Arizona men's basketball team fell to Cal State Bakersfield tonight in their first game of the Fresno State Classic. The Lumberjacks led by six at the half, but fell to the Roadrunners 61-50.
"I thought our effort on the defensive end was much improved and we showed a lot of promise," said head coach Jack Murphy. "Unfortunately, we didn't take care of the basketball and convert on the offensive end like we needed to. We will get better and learn from this, as we have a quick turnaround to our next game."
Junior transfer Aaseem Dixon led NAU in scoring as he shot 50 percent from the field to finish with 15 points and five rebounds. Senior forward Max Jacobsen registered 13 points and four rebounds. Junior Gaellan Bewernick added five points and 10 rebounds.
Jacobsen led NAU in the first half with nine points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field. Despite the sluggish start by both teams, the Lumberjacks out-rebounded CSU Bakersfield 20-9.
In the second half, NAU was able to maintain its lead for the first 10 minutes, but CSU Bakersfield hit a pair of free throws to take a 37-36 advantage.
The Roadrunners managed a 23-2 run in the second half, and it was just too much for NAU to overcome as it was unable to close the gap.
The Lumberjacks shot 32.7 percent from the field and 25 percent in the second half as they were unable to knock any shots down. NAU still managed to hold the edge on the boards, 43-29, but missed shots mixed with a season-high 23 turnovers hurt the Lumberjacks in their quest for back-to-back wins.
Issiah Grayson was the leading scorer tonight as he finished with 21 points and five steals for the Roadrunners. Joining Grayson in double figures were Javonte Maynor and Erik Kinney, who both notched 11 points each.
CSU Bakersfield shot 38.3 percent from the field for the game, but it was able to hit 20-of-26 free throws to earn the victory.
NAU will continue play in the Fresno State Classic tomorrow with a game against Drake at 5:30 p.m. MT. The Lumberjacks will close out the tournament on Sunday, Dec. 1 versus host Fresno State at 3 p.m. MT.