Womens basketball loses again: Patton scores 21 in Rolle against Northern Colorado
With its season nearing the end and effort becoming harder to produce, the NAU women’s basketball team fell to the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Bears 75–63 Monday night.
After the Lumberjacks (8–20, 3–12 Big Sky Conference) took an early 4–0 lead 1 minute and 26 seconds into the game, the Bears (18–10, 10–5 BSC) responded with a 16–2 run and never looked back.
“It’s clear the stats reflect effort,” said head coach Laurie Kelly. “Rebounds for sure. Rebounding and defense.”
UNC dominated the game for the most part, out-rebounding NAU 36–20 and out-shooting the Lumberjacks 53 percent to 43 percent. Additionally, NAU again lost the battle from the free-throw line, hitting 15 to UNC’s 24.
The Bears turned the ball over 23 times. As a result of the turnovers, the Lumberjacks took eight more shots than the Bears in the game.
“There’s not a lot of stats that reflect defense, but to me, the kids want to roll up, not gamble, not reach, move their feet and really just go back to fundamental defense,” Kelly said. “There’s not a lot of glory in that and you need people that want that. I just don’t know who that is on our team.”
Leading scorer Amy Patton, who did not start as a result of arriving late for the game, extended her 20-point scoring streak to four games with a 21-point effort on 8-of-14 shooting.
“It’s good that I had a good game, but yeah, obviously we lost, so it kind of takes it away,” Patton said. “We had a couple runs, but it just wasn’t enough.”
With her strong scoring night, Patton moves within 21 points of tying Jess LeBlanc for second place on NAU’s all-time scoring list at 1,450 points set in 1999, a positive for her in this poor season.
“It’s not really where we wanted to be but it happened,” Patton said. “I mean, we still have to come out, play and perform.”
However, the Lumberjacks second-leading scorer struggled with her shot all night.
“I don’t want to blame it on anything because I’m not that type of player. I don’t want to make excuses,” said sophomore guard Amanda Frost. “There’s been something wrong with my shoulder since the last time we played at Bakersfield.”
Frost, who averages 8.5 points a game, turned in her first scoreless game as a Lumberjack with an 0-for-4 shooting night, all attempts from behind the 3-point line.
“I’ve been having bad practices, like I can’t even make anything in practice,” Frost said. “So coming into the game, it was probably part on my confidence too. It’s probably low because I just haven’t been playing [well] at all.”
The Lumberjacks wrap up the season on March 3 when they host the Montana Grizzlies (16–11, 9–5 BSC) on senior night.
“We only have one more week. For one girl, it’s her last week of practice, so it’s kind of like you should just take it in,” Patton said. “So you try to finish the year strong at least, and go into something next year.”