The Northern Arizona women's basketball team (7-20, 4-12 Big Sky) hosts Idaho Wednesday and Eastern Washington Friday in the Walkup Skydome in their final two regular-season games before heading off to Reno, Nevada, for the Big Sky Conference Championships. Both games will tip off at 6:30 p.m.
The Lumberjacks defeated Sacramento State, 95-90, in a wild overtime game Thursday, and then fell short to Portland State in a 68-59 loss Saturday.
NAU, winners of three of its last five games, could move up to the conference tournament's No. 9 seed, trailing North Dakota by a game going into the final week.
Olivia Lucero ranks eighth in the conference in scoring, leading the Lumberjacks with 16.9 points per game, and has nine 20-point games this season so far. With 11 points on Wednesday versus Idaho, Lucero would move into the top 10 in NAU's single-season scoring list. Kenna McDavis is on pace to break the single-season 3-point record on Wednesday, needing two to tie and three to break the mark. Averaging 15.1 points per game, McDavis' 3-pointer count is at 74 for the season.
Lucero and McDavis will play their final two home games of their Lumberjacks career this week, which concludes with Senior Night on Friday. The two in-state products, who both are in their second years at NAU after transferring, will be honored along with senior Chelena Betoney prior to the Eastern Washington game.
Wednesday's game will Play4Kay night promoting breast cancer awareness. All fans are encouraged to wear pink and will receive pink promotional items upon entry to the game. In addition to Friday being Senior Night, the Lumberjacks will also host their sixth annual Wine Down event starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Skydome.
Idaho was at a loss at home last week, falling to Idaho State, 62-52, and Weber State, 105-88, but still begins the final week of the regular season in sole possession of second place in the Big Sky standings with an 11-5 league record. The Vandals had won nine in a row prior to last week's stumble and are 15-12 overall.
Mikayla Ferenz is the Big Sky's leading scorer and eighth leading scorer in the country with 22.8 points per game. She ranks fourth in the country with 108 3-pointers made and is averaging 4.0 3s made per game. Taylor Pierce can also light it up from behind the arc, averaging 14.4 points per game. Her 103 3-pointers made ranks her eighth nationally.
Eastern Washington is coming off a good week at home, defeating both Weber State, 77-68, and Idaho State, 66-64, to move into a four-way tie for third place in the Big Sky standings. The Eagles are 15-13 overall and 10-6 in conference play having won five of their last seven.
Delaney Hodgins leads the Eagles in scoring, and ranks second in the Big Sky, with 21.2 points per game. Hodgins also leads the team in rebounding with 7.3 per game and blocks with 43 total. Violet Kapri Morrow is the second-leading scorer on the team with 14.6 points per game.
This week's games will be televised by NAU-TV and shown locally on Suddenlink Channel 4 and 104. Online streaming will be available on the Pluto TV app or pluto.tv on Channel 239 as well as watchbigsky.com.
The Lumberjacks finished in eighth place at the Rebel Beach Invitational hosted by the University of Las Vegas and Long Beach State at the Spanish Trail Golf Club on Tuesday afternoon in Las Vegas.
The Lumberjacks shot 22-over on the final day of the tournament to record a three-round total of 52-over (916) in the 12-team field.
NAU was led by the solid play of Loren Skibba, who finished in a tie for 17th with a 9-over performance. Sofia Anokhina was right behind in her in a tie for 22nd with a 10-over showing.
Kaitlyn Saum and Sierra Bezdicek finished in a tie for 43rd and 48th, respectively. Emma Reyes rounded things off with at 68th on 33-over.
Co-host UNLV won the event with a team score of just 17-over. Ole Miss (+19), BYU (+22), Kennesaw State (+33) and co-host Long Beach State (+39) made up the tournament's top five.
The Lumberjacks return to the links when they head to Tucson for the University of Arizona's Wildcat Invitational on March 5 and 6. The Lumberjacks will then host their Red Rocks Invitational in Sedona, March 24-25.