Northern Arizona built a 56-51 lead with under six minutes to play at Evansville, but they just couldn't finish it out to capture the CIT crown, as the Jacks fell 71-65 after a furious Evansville finish in the last five minutes. There were 14 lead changes in the game. So ends the Big Sky season and the great run by the Jacks in the collegeinsider.com tournament, where they are the runner-up.
It was a night when NAU couldn't hit from the outside, as they shot just 4/15 from downtown, and only took 16 free throws. It can be tough for them to generate things offensively when they aren't excelling in either of those areas.
Kris Yanku (18 points, 6 assists) and Ako Kaluna (11 points, 6 rebounds) were the only Jacks in double figures in this game. Inside, Jordyn Martin had 9 points and 8 rebounds (5 offensive), continuing his string of strong games. Yanku also set a Big Sky single season record with 230 made free throws this season, a pretty outstanding number that showcases his ability to get into the lane.
Northern Arizona ends the year with a record of 23-15, having won 18 games since the start of the new year. While they will be understandably disappointed to lose in the title game, they had a great season - one that could set the stage for the future of the program.
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