Youngstown State converted on a layup on its home court with 4.3 seconds remaining to survive a Northern Arizona charge led by redshirt senior Kenna McDavis, beating the Lumberjacks, 69-67, on Saturday.
McDavis finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds, including 10 in the final quarter, to notch her fourth double-double of the season.
The Lumberjacks (3-7) fought back from an 18-point deficit, but the Penguins held on for the win. In the second half, the Lumberjacks shot 60 percent and outrebounded the Penguins by seven, but a 9-for-19 showing at the free-throw line and 21 turnovers cost NAU.
"You can't shoot 9 for 19 from the free throw line, under 50 percent, and expect to win many games," said Lumberjacks head coach Loree Payne. "This is also the second game in a row we've had 20-plus turnovers, and we're not giving ourselves a chance to win at the end by making the mistakes we're making throughout the game."
After carrying that one-point edge, NAU had to play from behind twice more in the final period. Consecutive 3s by Youngstown State gave the home team a 57-51 lead with 6:27 remaining, only for NAU to even it at 58-58. The Lumberjacks then found themselves down 66-62 with 1:41 left. A McDavis 3 and a jumper off the glass were sandwiched around a Youngstown State split at the free-throw line, setting up a 67-67 tie with 25.2 seconds left.
The Lumberjacks could not get a shot off following the Penguins' eventual game-winning basket.
Northern Arizona fell behind 14-2 to start the game, but rallied with a blistering third quarter. The Lumberjacks opened the second half with a 14-2 run of their own, which cut their 13-point halftime deficit to one at 42-41 four minutes in off a layup by freshman Khiarica Rasheed. A McDavis block on one end and a 3-pointer on the other with under a minute remaining in the quarter pushed NAU ahead 50-49, a lead it would take into the fourth.
McDavis' 24 points were three shy of her career-high and it was her third 20-point game of the season. She shot 8 for 14 and drilled four from beyond the arc in addition to totaling a game-high three blocks.
"Kenna had a great game and she's still battling an injury," Payne said. "But we're still striving for that consistency and asking some of our other players to step up and be consistent."
Redshirt senior Olivia Lucero also tallied a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists, while junior Kaleigh Paplow chipped in 10 points.
The Lumberjacks shot 53.1 percent for the game to the Penguins' 34.3 percent. However, Youngstown State outscored NAU 23-12 in points off turnovers and 13-4 in second-chance points. The Penguins also shot 75 percent from the foul line.
SWIM AND DIVE
Senior Kimmy Richter and freshman Sarah O'Connor each won two events and the Northern Arizona swimming and diving team won 11 of 15 events to defeat San Diego, 174-100, Saturday morning in San Diego.
The Lumberjacks dominated the dual meet, which also included Cal State East Bay, to win their fourth dual of the fall.
"We had some good results today for sure after a week of exams and a day of travel," said Lumberjacks head coach Andy Johns. "We're really pleased with the results overall. It was a solid team effort all the way around, and a great way to end the semester."
In the lone diving event of the day, Lumberjacks freshman Jenny Cheetham collected her first career dual meet win on 1-meter with a season-best score of 309.75.
Cheetham was one of two Northern Arizona divers to eclipse 300 points, as junior Tatiana Kurach placed second with a score of 308.55. Christina Torrente snagged the third scoring spot with a score of 276.83. All six of NAU's divers finished ahead of San Diego's only diver on the leaderboard.
"Everyone did really well and they stepped up," said Lumberjacks diving coach Nikki Huffman. "One through six, we didn't hit everything but we were really good. Tati and Jenny for hitting their dives, and for Jenny to pull out the win, that was good for her."
Richter won the 200 and 500 freestyles, and O'Connor swept the backstrokes to pace the Lumberjacks. Richter posted times of 1:52.72 in the 200 and 5:00.63 in the 500. O'Connor turned in winning times of 57.41 in the 100 back and 2:05.11 in the 200 back.
The Lumberjacks started and ended the meet with relay wins, first with O'Connor, freshman Hope Williams, senior Alina Staffeldt and freshman Elisa Rodriguez clocking a time of 1:46.85 to win the 200 medley relay. Staffeldt, Rodriguez, Richter and senior Roni Houck closed with a time of 3:34.97 to win the 400 freestyle relay to cap the dual.
Redshirt junior Monique King won the 1,000 free easily with a time of 10:18.08 with freshman Sam Milewski placing second with a time of 10:31.63. The 1,000 was the first of three straight individual wins for NAU with Richter's 200 free and O'Connor's 100 back victories to follow.
After Williams and junior Sarah Takach went two-three in the 100 breaststroke, Staffeldt claimed first in the 200 butterfly by more than two seconds with a time of 2:03.20. Rodriguez and Houck proceeded to take the top two spots in the 50 free with times of 24.35 and 24.37 respectively, before finishing in the second and third spots in the 100 free.
O'Connor led the first of two one-two-three sweeps in the 200 back, touching the wall five seconds ahead of freshman Lauren Hazel with sophomore Fernanda Montiel pulling in third. Takach followed by winning the 200 breast with a time of 2:25.39, which led into Richter, King and Milewski sweeping the top three spots in the 500 free.
Staffeldt and freshman Niamh McDonagh were NAU's top finishers in the 100 fly and 200 individual medley respectively, with each Jack placing runner-up in their events.
NAU will next compete against Arizona in Tucson on Friday, Jan. 5 at 2 p.m.