FLAGSTAFF-One college basketball team in Arizona is playing basketball in April.
A raucous sellout crowd of 5,583 saw the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks rally from a 12-point second-half deficit to knock out NJIT 68-61 and advance to the CIT Championship game Thursday at Evansville.
Lumberjack head coach Jack Murphy showed great patience and poise with his team on the offensive end. The ‘Jacks shot just 30% from the floor, but made 21-28 free throws, and had 23 offensive rebounds which was the difference. “I can’t say enough about our guys, they get down, but they don’t let it keep them down,” Murphy said after the victory.
Neither team shot the ball well in the first half and NAU (23-14) trailed 33-26 at halftime before cranking up their defensive pressure in the 7,000 feet altitude.
The Jacks were led by their backcourt trio of Quintin Upshur (23 points), Aaseem Dixon (19), Kris Yanku (10) and dominated the boards outrebounding the Highlanders 55-41. Len Springs and Jordyn Martin alone equalled NJIT’s team total.
NJIT finishes their season 21-12.