SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With fans on the edge of their seats and The Nest so loud you could not hear the person next to you, Northern Arizona took it to Sacramento State and came away with the 73-69 victory. The four-point win is the first Big Sky road victory for the Lumberjacks this season who improve to 8-20, 5-10 BSC.
"To get a victory here is amazing," said head coach Jack Murphy. "They (the Hornets) play very well here at home. They are a big physical team and we took it right to them. I could not be more proud of Corey Brown, Mike Green and JoJo Anderson coming off the bench and combining for 25 points tonight. That was huge for us."
It was a six-point game at the half with the scoreboard in favor of the Hornets. Sacramento State had led by as many as nine points, taking advantage of 15 points off turnovers. The second half on the other hand was a completely different story.
Northern Arizona and Sacramento State have been known to play games that get your heart beating racing fast and tonight was not any different. After halftime, NAU tied the game on a Chris Bowling made 3-pointer with 15:24 left to play in the game.
The second half saw six ties and three lead changes.
Sacramento State's Justin Strings missed a 3-pointer with 1:03 remaining in the game, which would have brought the Hornets to within one point. Instead, Ako Kaluna made a layup 30 seconds later to give NAU a 70-66 advantage. Sacramento State missed a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left, the Lumberjacks rebounded the ball and called a timeout with 10.1 seconds remaining.
NAU hit three of five free throws in the final minute of play and the Lumberjacks stung the Hornets for the 73-69 victory at The Nest.
Kaluna, who had nine points at the half, finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Jordyn Martin registered 14 points and eight rebounds, while Anderson went 7 of 8 from the charity stripe to tally 10 points to go with five assists. The Lumberjacks shot 46.2 percent from the floor and 73.9 from the free-throw line.
Marcus Graved led Sacramento State (10-16, 7-8 BSC) with 22 points, six assists and five rebounds. Eric Stuteville scored 14 points, while Nick Hornsby added 12 points and Strings had 11 points. The Hornets shot 45.5 percent from the field for the game.
The Lumberjacks head to Portland State (Feb. 25) for its final conference regular season road game. NAU beat the Vikings 83-76 on Jan. 16 in Flagstaff. Portland State's record is 13-13 overall and 6-9 in league play.