Game Recap

NAU downs Lady Griz, earns split


If you had told Montana women’s basketball coach Mike Petrino on Saturday morning that his team was going to shoot 50 percent from the field, go 16 for 17 from the free throw line and score 76 points, he would have felt good about his team’s fortunes as it prepared to face Northern Arizona.

But on this day the Lumberjacks were even better. They hit 13 of their first 15 shots, went 9 for 19 from the arc and shot 56.9 percent while turning the ball over just 10 times.

In other words, they were true to form.

The Big Sky Conference’s top scoring team led the final 22 minutes and pulled away late in the fourth quarter to post an 89-76 victory at Rolle Activity Center in Flagstaff.

Jacqulynn Nakai, who leads the Big Sky in scoring, and Regan Schenck combined to score 50 points on 17-of-26 shooting, and Northern Arizona’s five starters put up 79 points on 63 percent shooting.

“They were leading the league in scoring coming into this series, and they showed what they can do today,” Petrino said. “They are a high-powered offensive team, and they played like it.

“We got beat in transition too many times, then we lost their scorers. You can’t have multiple breakdowns like that against a good, high-powered team.”

Carmen Gfeller led Montana with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting. For the two-game road trip — Montana won 83-74 on Thursday night — she took 23 shots and made 18 of them, or 78.3 percent.

Abby Anderson added 17 points, going 5 for 8 from the field, a perfect 7 for 7 at the line, Madi Schoening 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting.

Montana, which had held its previous seven opponents to sub-40-percent shooting, did enough offensively to win the game.

“When you score 76 points and shoot 50 percent, you should have a better chance of being in the game, and we weren’t,” said Petrino. “Defensively we had too many breakdowns.”

Montana hadn’t lost a game by more than seven points this season before falling by 13 on Saturday.

The Lady Griz (5-4, 2-2 BSC) will host Sacramento State (0-8, 0-5 BSC) next week at Dahlberg Arena. The Hornets are facing Big Sky-leading Idaho State in Sacramento on Saturday afternoon.

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