After a tough finish to the 2017 calendar year, the Northern Arizona women's basketball team makes its Walkup Skydome debut on Thursday, hosting Weber State at 6:30 p.m. in their first game of 2018. The week concludes with the Lumberjacks welcoming Idaho State for a 5 p.m. tipoff on Saturday.
The Lumberjacks hope a return home will be the remedy to snap their six-game losing streak after a pair of road losses to start conference play last week. NAU, now 3-10 overall and 0-2 in the Big Sky, fell to Montana in overtime, 70-62, and was routed 81-39 by Montana State. The first of two in the Treasure State was a heartbreaker with NAU losing a 21-point third quarter lead to the Lady Griz on Thursday and suffering its sixth single-digit loss of the season. The Lumberjacks' loss to the Bobcats was tough for other reasons, as it was the program's worst loss since suffering a 49-point loss to UTEP on Nov. 22, 2013.
Redshirt senior Kenna McDavis ranks ninth in the conference with 15.9 points per game and second with 9.7 rebounds per game. She tallied her team-leading fifth double-double (18 points, career-high 15 rebounds) of the season against the Lady Griz last Thursday. Meanwhile, redshirt senior Olivia Lucero had her 15-game double-digit scoring streak snapped versus Montana State, but still ranks 10th in the Big Sky in scoring at 15.5 per game. She leads the conference in assists with 5.2 per game.
NAU-TV will televise both games on Suddenlink Channel 4 and 104. Saturday's game will also be available on CW6 in Phoenix. Fans can catch the broadcasts online on the Pluto TV app or pluto.tv for free as well as watchbigsky.com.
Weber State defeated Idaho State on the road last Saturday, 76-70, in its only game of the opening week of Big Sky play. The Wildcats, picked ninth in the Big Sky Media Poll and 10th in the Coaches Poll, have won four of their past five games and are 9-3 overall. Larryn Brooks is the fourth-leading scorer in the conference with 19.4 points per game. She is third in the conference in three-pointers made per game (3.3) and is connecting on 37.4 percent of her attempts from behind the arc.
Idaho State cruised by Westminster College, 83-45, last Thursday before falling to Weber State in its Big Sky opener. The Bengals are 8-4 overall and were voted seventh in the Big Sky Media Poll and eighth in the Coaches Poll. Brooke Blair averages a team-high 14.0 points per game and scores at an efficient rate, ranking sixth in the Big Sky with a .492 field goal percentage. Blair also leads the conference by shooting 50 percent on three-pointers.