Lumberjacks pull out win against Northern Colorado on buzzer beater

 
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BY VINCENT PENA —

The NAU men’s basketball team defeated the University of Northern Colorado Bears, 67-65, on a buzzer beating floater by senior guard Michael Dunn.

Stallon Saldivar celebrates after Thursday night's win over UNC at the Skydome. (Photo by Matt Valley)

Stallon Saldivar celebrates after Thursday night’s win over UNC at the Skydome. (Photo by Matt Valley)

UNC guard Tevin Svihovec nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 65 with 4.8 seconds left, and that gave NAU one last chance for a win. Fellow senior guard Stallon Saldivar drove down the left sideline, threw a pass down court and found Dunn in the corner, who then dribbled in and sunk a running floater as time expired. Dunn finished the night 2-of-5 shooting for five points.

“We tried to get it to DeWayne initially coming across,” Dunn said. “But Stallon, being the heady point guard that he is, made an audible and pushed it. He forced my guy to make a play, to make a decision, and he made the right pass like he has been doing the last four years.”

Senior guard Gabe Rogers and freshman guard DeWayne Russell, who scored 28 and 13 respectively, handled the bulk of the scoring for the Lumberjacks. Rogers was 11-of-19 from the field and 4-of-9 from 3-point range, including a clutch three to put NAU up by one with over a minute remaining.

Russell, the Big Sky Conference’s leading scorer, scored 11 points in the first half, but only made one basket in the second half to finish 5-of-12 shooting.

A sloppy start by the Lumberjacks found them down in the first half by a score of 18-9, but followed with an 11-2 run to tie it up. Rogers and Russell combined for 26 of the Lumberjacks’ 32 first half points.

Head coach Jack Murphy was glad they were able to pull out the victory.

“I am sure I am going to be on the other end of those,” Murphy said. “It is not a good feeling because Northern Colorado played a great game. But we are excited tonight.”

The victory gives the Lumberjacks their first back-to-back wins of the season and brings their overall record to 7-12 and 4-5 in the Big Sky.

Dunn said it feels good they finally have a winning streak going, but added that they still have more basketball to play.

“We are not done. We have North Dakota, who is a good team and they’re in third place in the conference right now,” Dunn said. “Beating them would be key. We want to get on a roll and get back to .500 in conference.”

UNC guard Tevin Svihovec nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 65 with 4.8 seconds left, and that gave NAU one last chance for a win. Fellow senior guard Stallon Saldivar drove down the left sideline, threw a pass down court and found Dunn in the corner, who then dribbled in and sunk a running floater as time expired. Dunn finished the night 2-of-5 shooting for five points.

 

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