Victory number two came via grinding out a home win over Sacramento State, 57-50. The Lumberjacks overcame the fact that they were outrebounded and didn't shoot well, as they forced 20 turnovers and got an all-conference type of game from DeWayne Russell.
Russell had struggled a bit in the past couple of contests, but he was brilliant in this game. He scored 25 points, and seemed like he was one of the few sources of offense late for them. One thing I noticed was his aggressiveness going to the rim, which helped him get to the line often. He was 11/12 from the stripe, and it's something Coach Murphy noticed as well.
"DeWayne Russell getting to the foul line in the second half was huge and knocking down the free throws was even bigger," said Murphy. "We struggled shooting the ball once again but we had a lot of open looks at the rim."Russell also had five assists, four steals, and just one turnover, keying them on both sides of the ball.
I thought Sac State's post players would be able to win the game for the Hornets, but NAU did a good job on them. John Dickson and Konner Veteto combined to shoot just 5/18 from the floor, finishing with 17 points between them. NAU will take that any day.
With the win, Northern Arizona improved to 2-1 in the Big Sky, while Sacramento State dropped to 1-2.
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