Opponent: Northern Colorado (Thursday, Jan. 23/6:30 p.m.)
Opponent: North Dakota (Saturday Jan. 25/6:30 p.m.)
Location: Walkup Skydome - Flagstaff, Ariz.
Live Stats: www.nauathletics.com
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Northern Arizona women's basketball capped a rigorous slate last week with a resounding victory at Portland State following a loss at Eastern Washington. Coupled with their win at home over Southern Utah, the Lumberjacks ended the week with a 2-1 record picking up their first two Big Sky victories in the process. This week, the Lumberjacks welcome Northern Colorado and North Dakota to the Walkup Skydome this Thursday and Saturday respectively. Both games will tipoff at 6:30 p.m.
Senior Amanda Frost garnered Big Sky Player of the Week honors from the conference and College Sports Madness after averaging 30.3 points per game. Junior Erikka Banks (15.0), freshman Brittani Lusain (14.3) and freshman Rene Coggins (11.3) also averaged double-figures during the week.
Series History: NAU is just 3-15 all-time versus Northern Colorado and has dropped eight consecutive games in the series dating back to its last win during the 2008-09 season. Last year, the Lumberjacks fell 69-54 in Greeley before suffering a 71-43 loss at home. Junior Raven Anderson averaged 10 points and 4.5 rebounds in the two meetings last season off the bench.
The Lumberjacks picked up their first ever victory last season against North Dakota after dropping the first three matchups. UND has a 3-1 edge in the series that dates back only to the 2008-09 season and after NAU fell 70-50 in Grand Forks, it pulled out an overtime thriller, 64-60, at home. Banks had 18 points and nine rebounds, which at the time were career-highs, in the Lumberjack win.
Lumberjack Athletic Association Appreciation Day: All LAA members will receive a complimentary ticket to Thursday's game as well as one complimentary ticket for every person in their immediate family. Two additional tickets for guests will be available as well. In addition to complimentary tickets, a hot meal will be served one hour prior to tip-off.
To redeem your complimentary tickets, please RSVP to Ryan Weigand at email@example.com no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
TV Coverage: Both games will be televised by NAU-TV and broadcasted live on Fox Sports Arizona. The games will be shown live locally in Flagstaff on Suddenlink cable Channel 4 and online on the NAU-TV live web stream.
Coach Sue Darling Quote of the Week: "In order to make noise in any conference, you have to win your home games. These games coming up are very important to us. It was nice to get a split on the road last week and again we have two quality opponents coming in this week. We're going to have to play great Lumberjack basketball."
About Northern Colorado (9-7, 3-4 Big Sky): After dropping its first three conference games, Northern Colorado has won three of its last four Big Sky contests. Last week, the Bears were at home and fell to Montana State, 68-55, which snapped their two-game win streak but followed with a three point victory, 57-54, over Montana.
The Bears are one of the better defensive teams in the conference as they rank second in field goal defense (.376) and tied for second in scoring defense (65.2 points per game). In conference games alone, Northern Colorado is allowing just 61.7 points per game and is holding opponents to a .357 clip from the field. Junior Stephanie Lee is second in the conference, behind Frost, in scoring with 20.7 points per game and is among the top-10 in several other categories including field goal percentage, free throw percentage and blocks. Senior Kim Lockridge leads the team in rebounding at 6.4 per game.
About North Dakota (11-5, 6-1 Big Sky): North Dakota's five-game win streak came to end last Saturday as Montana State handed them a 76-65 loss at home. The loss was UND's first in conference play as it fell to 6-1, but they remain in first place in the conference by half a game heading into the week. North Dakota defeated Montana, 62-57, prior to its loss to MSU.
Like Northern Colorado, North Dakota is a strong squad on the defensive end as it matches UNC's 65.2 points per game allowed and is right behind in third in the Big Sky with a .337 opponent field goal percentage. UND also leads the conference in rebounding (45.8) and opponent rebounding (35.2) as well as block shots (6.3). Senior Madi Buck is fourth in the league in scoring at 16.0 points per game and sophomore Mia Lloyd is eight at 14.5. Lloyd is also the only player averaging a double-double as she leads the conference with 10.1 rebounds per game.
Talk About a Frost-tastic Week: Frost earned Big Sky Co-Player of the Week and College Sports Madness Big Sky Player of the Week honors exploding for 30.3 points per contest during thw week of Jan. 12-18. She also averaged 3.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 48.3 percent from the field, connecting on 50 percent of her attempts from long distance and shooting 88.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Frost began the week pouring in a career-high 34 points on Jan. 13 as the Lumberjacks rallied back from an 18-point halftime deficit to defeat Southern Utah, 82-77. During NAU's second half comeback, Frost scored 25 of her 34 points and 11-for-19 for the game, setting a new career-high for field goals made. She also hit 4-of-7 from 3-point range.
After scoring 29 points in NAU's loss at Eastern Washington on Jan. 16, which included a 10-for-11 performance at the free-throw line, Frost finished the week with 28 points in the Lumberjacks' 88-67 victory at Portland State, their first in Portland since 2006, on Jan. 18. Frost shot 10-of-18 from the field while coming up one assist shy of her first career double-double. Her nine assists was a new career-best and she added five rebounds. For the week, she played 118 of 120 possible minutes and hit at least three three-pointers in every game.
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