POCATELLO, Idaho – Northern Arizona led by as many as 20 points in the second half. Idaho State fought back late in the second period to force overtime and come away with the 91-90 win at Reed Gym. Senior forward Jordyn Martin started the game 5-for-5 from the field to finish with 21 points and 10 rebounds, as Northern Arizona (6-17, 3-7 BSC) fell to Idaho State (4-17, 2-7 BSC).
"We didn't defend in the second half and committed too many fouls," said head coach Jack Murphy. "Offensively, we didn't get the ball inside like we like and that resulted in us not going to the free throw line. We have to drive the ball more and attack the paint."
Idaho State's defense struggled to start the game and the Lumberjacks responded by jumping out to an early lead. NAU scored 18 points in the paint to begin the contest and received 19 points from its bench to spread out its offensive threats.
The Lumberjacks made seven of their first 10 field goal attempts to jump out to a 17-11 lead. The game saw two ties in the first half with NAU never falling behind. Martin notched 12 first half points and with the Lumberjacks out-rebounding Idaho State 17 to 7, NAU entered intermission up 43-29.
Idaho State came from 20 points down in the second half to push NAU into extra minutes. The Bengals used a 26-11 run to close out the half.
NAU was outscored seven to six in overtime. Marcus DeBerry hit a 3-pointer to give NAU an 88-87 advantage with 2:37 remaining and then Martin gave NAU the lead again, 90-88, with 1:57 to go. Robert Jones hit a layup for Idaho State 19 seconds later and after a quiet spell, it was a pair of free throws by the Bengals that sunk the Lumberjacks on the road.
"I thought we recovered and had a good attempt at the end, but we allowed the game to get away from us," said Murphy. "Games like tonight show why it's so hard to win a road game in this league."
DeBerry and Mike Green both finished with 16 points, including four made 3-pointers each. JoJo Anderson added 10 points. NAU went into overtime without Ako Kaluna and Isaiah Thomas. Both big men fouled out late in the second half.
Geno Luzcando fouled out with 3:12 in overtime, but not before he scored 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting. Ethan Telfair led the Bengals with 21 points. Erik Nakken hit 1-of-2 free throws with eight seconds left to play to seal the win for the home team.
The Bengals outscored NAU, 55 to 41, in the second half and shot 54.5 percent from the field for the game. Idaho State made 23 of 32 free throws tonight compared to NAU's eight free throw attempts.
NAU will play at top contender Weber State on Saturday. Tip off at the Dee Events Center is set for 7 p.m.