Last Saturday night, the Vikings faced off against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks in Flagstaff, Ariz., determined to add another win to their perfect conference record of 1-0. Unfortunately, the Lumberjacks dominated the game and claimed the 65-42 victory.
PSU scored the first basket of the game, but it was downhill from there as NAU responded with nine consecutive points. The Lumberjacks slowly built on their lead and went up 19-8 with 10:21 remaining in the half. The Viking defense stepped up and stopped NAU from scoring over the next 5:45 of the half. PSU managed to pull within seven points at 19-12, but NAU was able to retain its lead until halftime, when the score was 25-17.
The Vikings never found their momentum in the second half, and a 26-5 Lumberjack run squelched any attempts at a comeback. With the score at 51-22 and 9:35 left to play, the Vikings were effectively shut down and never trailed by less than 21 points for the remainder of the game.
Lumberjack Lindsey Foster had an impressive game, scoring 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting (including 3-of-4 from the three-point line) and four assists. Joy Dixon contributed 13 points and six assists, while Lacey Tolbert had 11 points and three assists.
Sarah Hedgepeth played well for the Vikings, with 12 points and two blocks. After the game, coach George Wolfe acknowledged the junior forward’s recent contributions to the team.
“Our guards were reluctant to shoot tonight, which allowed NAU to sag down on Sarah,” head coach George Wolfe said in a recent press release.
Vikings Niki Sadowski and Nikki Petticrew each added eight points. Jenna Washington came off the bench to add five points and two steals in 22 minutes.
The Viking loss was due in no small part to the team’s paltry 29.5 percent field-goal percentage and the fact that they were only 1-for-10 from the three-point line. Cold shooting seems to be an ongoing problem for PSU in games against the Lumberjacks. Last March, the Vikings shot just 25.9 percent from the field in a close 55-52 loss to NAU. This win over PSU puts the Lumberjacks at 8-7 in the season and 1-1 in BSC play. The Vikings drop to 6-9 in the season, 1-1 in Big Sky Conference play.
PSU returns home to the Peter Stott Center on Saturday, Jan. 25 for a game against the Eastern Washington Eagles.