FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Thunderbird men’s basketball team suffered their second-consecutive loss on Saturday afternoon, as they fell to the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona 82-69 on the road.
“The difference in the game was just possessions,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said. “They had four more offensive rebounds than we did, and we had seven more turnovers. When you shoot almost 50 percent for a game you should be in pretty good shape, but when it comes down to possessions we’ve got to value that ball more.”
With the loss, the T-Birds drop to 14-11 on the season, and a .500 mark of 7-7 in Big Sky Conference play.
This also marks the first time the T-Birds have lost back-to-back games since November.
The opening half was tightly contested, as neither team led by more than three points for the entirety of the first frame.
The Thunderbirds shot 52 percent in the opening 20 minutes, while the Lumberjacks shot just 37 percent. During that same time period NAU hit 10 free throws on 12 attempts, while the T-Birds made four on just seven.
SUU held a 35-34 advantage going into the locker room for halftime.
With 11:42 to play in the second half, the Lumberjacks became the first team to lead by more than three as Cameron Shelton knocked down a triple to put NAU up 53-47. They took that lead courtesy of a 9-0 run, while the T-Birds went over two minutes without a point.
From that point on the Thunderbirds hung around, but were never able to climb all the way back into the contest, eventually falling 82-69.
Andre Adams led the charge for the Thunderbirds, scoring a season-high 20 points of 7-of-10 shooting from the field, and 6-of-8 shooting from the free throw line. He secured a double-double on the evening with 11 rebounds as well.
“He’s getting his rhythm and has had a good stretch,” Simon said. “We need to keep utilizing him and let him keep it going.”
The T-Birds outshot the Lumberjacks from the field, with a 49 percent to 44 percent advantage, but the ‘Jacks were able to hit five triples and converted on 27-of-30 shooting from the charity stripe to create their distance.
SUU went just 3-of-17 from behind the three-point line. The T-Birds also coughed the ball up 11 times, compared to just four turnovers for NAU.
Shelton finished with 26 points for NAU to end the contest as their leading scorer.
The Thunderbirds will be back in action next week, as they head out on the road once again for contests against Northern Colorado and Weber State.
Story and photo courtesy of SUU Athletics