Opponent: Northern Colorado (Thursday, Jan. 26/7:00 p.m.)
Location: Greeley, Colo.
Opponent: North Dakota (Saturday, Jan. 28/1:00 p.m.)
Location: Grand Forks, N.D.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Northern Arizona women's basketball team played both North Dakota and Northern Colorado close just three weeks ago at home. The task will much greater this week as the 'Jacks head on the road to face those same two squads - the top two teams in the Big Sky four weeks in. NAU plays at Northern Colorado Thursday at 7 p.m. before going to North Dakota on Saturday for a 1 p.m. Arizona game time.
Follow the Action:
- Both games can be heard for free online at nauathletics.com/wbbradio. The pregame show will start 15 minutes prior to tip-off (6:45 p.m. on Thursday and 12:45 p.m. on Saturday).
- Saturday's game will be televised on Fox Sports North Pacific and Fox College Sports Atlantic.
- Both games will be streamed for free online at watchbigsky.com.
Robyne Bostick's Opening Thought: "Both games last week definitely had two different styles. Our game last Thursday was a defensive battle for both teams before the fourth quarter when we were able to put the ball in the basket and run in transition. We knew Saturday would be the type of game that it was and our defensive intensity wasn't the same as it was on Thursday."
Previewing The 'Jacks: NAU snapped its four-game losing streak by defeating Eastern Washington, 56-47. The Lumberjacks then fell victim to Idaho's hot three-point shooting in a 91-80 loss. NAU is now 2-5 in conference and 6-12 overall. Redshirt junior Olivia Lucero leads the team with 13.7 points per game. She dropped 20 points against UND during the teams' first meeting. Lucero is shooting 90.3 percent from the charity stripe in seven Big Sky games. That ranks second in the league. Senior Brittani Lusain also had a 20-point game against Northern Colorado. She also added 10 rebounds versus the Bears. She is averaging 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this season. Off the bench, freshman Raina Perez has scored double-digit points in four of seven Big Sky games including a team-high 15 points in last week's victory over Eastern Washington.
Scouting Northern Colorado: Northern Colorado is the lone unbeaten team remaining in the Big Sky at 8-0. The Bears, 16-3 overall, have won their last nine straight including road wins, 77-62 at Idaho State and 88-79 at Weber State, last week. Northern Colorado narrowly edged out NAU, 69-66, in the teams' first meeting on Jan. 7 in the Walkup Skydome. UNC shot 42.4 percent for the game and took advantage of 17 NAU turnovers. Savannah Scott led the team with 18 points. Savannah Smith is the team's leading scorer for the season at 15.6 points per game, sixth-best in the Big Sky. She scored 12 points versus NAU three weeks ago and has made a team-high 50 threes. Scott ranks second on the team with 14.1 points per game and is shooting 49.1 percent from the field along with a Big Sky leading 46.7 percent from behind the arc.
Bostick on Northern Colorado: "Northern Colorado is undefeated right now and playing very well, but we do have some confidence knowing how close the game was when we played them at home the first time. We'll make a few adjustments, but our defense on their three-point shooters will be key and that's something we didn't do so well on Saturday versus Idaho."
Scouting North Dakota: North Dakota carries a 7-1 conference record into the week and sits in second place behind Northern Colorado. The Fighting Hawks are coming off two narrow victories on the road last week, 70-65 over Weber State and a 65-62 overtime win over Idaho State, to improve to 12-7 overall. North Dakota pulled out an 80-78 win over NAU in the Skydome on Jan. 5. UND was led by Lexi Klabo, who notched a double-double with 25 points and 14 rebounds, in the victory. The Fighting Hawks shot 47.5 percent from the field and drained 12 threes. Makailah Dyer is averaging 15.0 points per game, tops on the team, and scored 12 points in the first meeting between the two teams. She leads the team in three-point shooting with 37 makes. Klabo ranks second with 12.5 points per game and is shooting the ball at a 59.4 percent clip. She ranks second in the conference in rebounding with 8.5 per game.
Bostick on North Dakota: "North Dakota is always a really good rebounding team. Looking at the stats from our first game, they had 15 second chance points off of 14 offensive rebounds which is a really good percentage on finishing on those opportunities. Keeping them off the boards will be key for us this week as we head up to Grand Forks."
- NAU and Northern Colorado will be meeting for the 25th time in school history. Northern Colorado leads the all-time series 19-5. Northern Colorado won the first meeting this season, 69-66, on Jan. 7, 2017 in Flagstaff.
- NAU and North Dakota will be meeting for the 11th time in school history. North Dakota leads the all-time series 8-2. North Dakota won the first meeting this season, 80-78, on Jan. 5, 2017 in Flagstaff.
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