The Northern Arizona men’s basketball team put together its most complete game of the season and beat Idaho State in wire-to-wire fashion, 81-69, on the road in Pocatello, Idaho, Saturday night.
The Lumberjacks improved to 4-10 overall and 2-2 in the Big Sky Conference after their best offensive showing of the season. Northern Arizona shot season highs in all three shooting categories at 56 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range and 95 percent from the foul line.
Hosting Idaho State (6-6-, 2-1 Big Sky) was held to a season-worst performance on the offensive end, hitting just 36.5 percent from the field and 12 of 37 from the arc (32.4 percent).
Northern Arizona never trailed and the game was never tied as the Lumberjacks led by as many as 15 points in the first half behind a 60-percent shooting performance in the opening half. Despite a slow start to the second half, in which Northern Arizona started just 2 for 10 from the field, the Lumberjacks still kept a near-double-digit lead for the entire second half.
The Lumberjacks were without starting forward Brooks DeBisschop, forcing Isaiah Thomas to make his first start of the season. Thomas was in foul trouble for most of the game but Idaho State’s lack of size lessened the blow of missing DeBisschop and Thomas’ foul trouble.
Ted McCree started for Cam Shelton -- who had started each game so far as a freshman -- as Northern Arizona had a new-look starting group.
Luke Avdalovic led the Lumberjacks in scoring with 17 points on 4-for-5 shooting from behind the arc and 5-of-6 shooting from the foul line. Four other Lumberjacks hit double-digit scoring as McCree scored 16, Carlos Hines hit 14, Bernie Andre with 10 and Shelton 12.
The win comes off the heals of one of Northern Arizona's worst offensive performances of the season against Weber State and now the Lumberjacks get a week to prepare for their next opponent.
The Lumberjacks will close out the three-game road trip in Cedar City, Utah, against Southern Utah (6-7, 1-3 Big Sky) on Saturday.