Women’s hoops stomps Titans at home
The NAU women’s basketball team returned to Flagstaff following last Thursday’s a loss to previously winless San Jose State and bounced back with a 64–54 wins against the Cal State Fullerton Titans (3–4) Sunday to remain undefeated at home.
Junior center Aubrey Davis grabbed 18 rebounds and scored 12 points for NAU, both career-highs. She added four blocks and a pair of steals to tie her personal bests as well.
“I felt like the ball was just coming to me,” Davis said. “My girl was double teaming up top which led to a lot rebounds.”
Davis’s play paced the tone of the game for the Lumberjacks. As a team, they dominated the Titans 53–32 on the boards, including a 21-14 advantage on offense. Fullerton failed to match NAU’s play inside offensively, as they were outscored 34–18 in the paint.
“The way they defended gave Aubrey some opportunities,” said head coach Laurie Kelly. “They rotated and got caught with guards on her sometimes.”
In addition to praising her ability to take over mismatches, Kelly lauded Davis’s intelligence on the court.
“She is a math major, so mathematically the shot comes from one spot and she can figure out where statistically it’s more likely going to come off,” Kelly said.
Despite a sloppy first half that included 15 turnovers and 35 percent shooting percentage, the Lumberjacks lead 28–23 at the break as they held the Titans to 31 percent shooting in the first.
NAU traded baskets with the Fullerton in the second until senior forward Caty Huntington hit a three with 6:35 to play. Huntington’s three triggered a 7–0 run for the Lumberjacks and pushed their lead to 54–39, the largest of the game.
The Titans were held to a mere 28 percent shooting in the second half while the Lumberjacks shot 48 percent to finish the game with 41 percent from the field.
“I really loved our defense and loved our rebounding,” Kelly said. “Our approach coming into the game was truly defensively minded. We didn’t want to let them get hot early. We wanted to hold them defensively; we did a great job of that.”
Amy Patton, who was held scoreless at San Jose on Thursday, rebounded against the Titans with a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds on 7-of-13 shooting despite not starting the game.
“I feel like I have a long way to go,” Patton said, in regards to her play. “I feel like I had a setback (in San Jose), but this game helped me.”
Senior guard Megan Richardson, the Titans leading scorer on the season, lead Fullerton with 21 points on 6-of-15 shooting and hit 9-of-10 from the line.
The Lumberjacks now have five days off before hosting Big Ten newcomer Nebraska on Dec. 10. The Cornhuskers are 7–1 on the season having defeated Southern California and Florida State, both of which were ranked at the time of the games. Nebraska received votes in both national polls, the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches, on Nov. 28.
“It’s very rare that you get that kind of program to come into your place as a mid-major,” Kelly said. “We have got to look at it as an opportunity, we have nothing to lose. We’re in the situation where no one really thinks you’re going to win so you can play relaxed and you can play hard.”