Women’s basketball moves to 2–1 with victory over Adams State
Despite falling behind in the game’s opening minutes, the NAU women’s basketball team (2—1) cruised to a 76—50 victory Tuesday night over the Division-II Adams State Grizzlies (1—1) and the game became a chance to get its young bench quality minutes.
After the Grizzlies jumped out to a 5—0 lead in the first two minutes of the game, the Lumberjacks countered with runs of six, nine and 10, to lead 38—20 going into halftime.
At the half, NAU out-shot Adams State 33—18 and out rebounded them 21—13, including 10 offensive boards. The Lumberjacks shot a 45.5 percent compared to the Grizzlies 33 percent. The Lumberjacks on-ball defensive pressure forced nine steals.
“Defensively I thought one of the keys was we didn’t play people a lot of minutes,” said head coach Laurie Kelly. “So because of the depth, I just think we were able to keep the intensity up defensively, which really helped our offense.”
No Lumberjack played over 23 minutes and 11 women saw at least 13 minutes of playing time in what was the team’s third game in five days.
“I was hoping we could get a lead early and then be able to give some experience to the kids that haven’t been able to. We have good young kids, they just haven’t had any experience,” said Kelly. “Patricia Gortarez was huge for us, she came on and had great minutes.”
Gortarez, a redshirt sophomore guard who transferred from Denver University, tied for a team-high 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-2 from three. Of her 13 points, 12 came in the second half.
“Last year being a redshirt, I had to sit out and watch, and this year I actually get to play,” said Gortarez. “I’m just taking all the chances that I can get. Whenever she (Kelly) lets me go on the court, I’m going to go all out.”
The Lumberjacks had four players score in double digits, including junior guard Amy Patton with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and added three steals in 23 minutes of play. Senior center Aubrey Davis nearly nabbed a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds while adding three blocks. Senior forward Caty Huntington scored 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting.
Patton, who played 33 minutes Sunday night against UC Riverside, said she was happy to get a rest and have the bench get some work in.
“The bench got to play a lot, that’s really good experience for them to be able to get on the floor and contribute,” said Patton.
The Lumberjacks have only one day off before traveling to Vermillion, S.D. for Friday’s 6 p.m. game against the University of South Dakota Coyotes, followed by a game Sunday at the Iowa State University Cyclones.
“It’s going to be literally a full day to get to South Dakota. The next two days are going be tough,” said Kelly.