GAME NOTES: The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks have won two games in a row, and will seek a third as they travel to face the Eastern Washington Eagles in Big Sky Conference action at Reese Court.
Northern Arizona has won two in a row and three of its last four games, including a 65-63 edging of Portland State Thursday. The Lumberjacks are 8-5 in the conference and chasing Weber State for the top spot.
Eastern Washington has won three of its past four games, including an 85-72 victory over Sacramento State Thursday night. At 6-7 in the Big Sky standings, the Eagles have some catching up to do.
Northern Arizona has the edge in the all-time series against Eastern Washington, 35-26. The Lumberjacks extended their series lead on Jan. 16 with an 84-65 win over the Eagles in Flagstaff.
Northern Arizona battled to a one-point lead at the half over Portland State in its last outing, and gained another point advantage in the second period to slip by the Vikings for the two-point win. Quinton Upshur netted 16 points to lead the Lumberjacks, connecting on 5-of-15 shooting. Ako Kaluna came off the bench to score 13 points, and Gaellan Bewernick chipped in 10 in the victory. Northern Arizona shot 49.1 percent in the contest, even though the team hit just 3-of-13 from 3-point range.
Upshur leads the Lumberjacks in scoring this season with a 15.7 ppg average on 45.2 percent shooting. Upshur's 42 steals is a team high on the year, and 19 blocked shots is second. Max Jacobsen checks in at second on the team in scoring with 12.7 ppg, and Aaseem Dixon is third with 12.6 ppg. Bewernick has a team-best 6.5 rpg average, andKris Yanku leads the team with 61 assists on the year.
Eastern Washington used a strong first half to power its way to a 13-point victory. The Eagles jumped ahead by 16 at the half, and Sacramento State could only make up three points in the second period. Parker Kelly netted 18 points to pace the Eagles, while Tyler Harvey and Martin Seiferth each chipped in with 16. Seiferth notched a double-double with 11 rebounds. Drew Brandon contributed 14 points, and Venky Jois scored 12 with nine boards to round out the stellar offensive day for EWU.
Harvey continues to have a spectacular offensive season for the Eagles, netting 21 ppg to lead the team on 44.4 percent shooting from the floor, including 44.7 percent from 3-point range. Jois is second on the squad in scoring with a 12.8 ppg average and a team-best 8 rpg. Brandon nets 11 ppg, and Kelly averages 10.3 ppg for third and fourth on the roster, respectively. Brandon tops the team with a 5.5 apg clip and 4.7 rpg.
Harvey and the rest of the Eagles can explode on any given night. But there are times when Eastern Washington's offense goes quiet, like in the last outing against Northern Arizona. The Eagles will need to come up with an offensive spark to down the Lumberjacks.
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