Just one road trip, albeit an arduous one that takes them coast to coast, stands between the Northern Arizona women's basketball team and the start of the Big Sky schedule at the end of the month.
The Lumberjacks head east to Youngstown State for an 11 a.m. tipoff on Saturday before traveling back west for a Monday night showdown with CSUN at 8 p.m.
The Lumberjacks are hoping a road trip will help them stem the tide before heading into conference action after falling to 3-6 this season with a 72-54 loss to Grand Canyon on Thursday.
NAU's Field Trip Day loss to GCU closed a three-game homestand during which the Lumberjacks went 1-2. Redshirt freshman Brianna Lehew tied Lucero for team-high honors with 13 points off the bench on Thursday, marking her first career double-digit scoring game.
NAU also saw the return of redshirt senior Kenna McDavis, who missed last Saturday's game versus Cal Poly with an injury. McDavis posted seven points and eight rebounds and is still averaging a double-double with 15.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season.
Despite their lowest-scoring game of the season on Thursday, and the first in which they scored fewer than 60 points, NAU still ranks first in the Big Sky with 77.1 points per game, buoyed by a .426 field-goal percentage.
Youngstown State owns a 2-7 record this season and has dropped five consecutive games. The Penguins, voted eighth in the Horizon League Preseason Poll, lost to Saint Francis U, 79-65, last Saturday to cap a four-game road trip. Alison Smolinski is one of three Penguins scoring in double-digits with a team-best 11.4 points per game. She has made a team-best 24 3-pointers, shooting 40.7 percent behind the arc. Indiya Benjamin ranks second on the team with 10.8 points per game and leads Youngstown State with 4.6 assists per game.
CSUN has been on a roll of late, winning three straight and four of its last five to sit at 4-6 overall. The Matadors defeated San Jose State, 76-59, and Loyola Marymount, 75-68, on the road most recently and were picked second in the preseason Big West polls.
Channon Fluker is averaging a double-double for the Matadors, carrying team-highs of 18.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. She is shooting 56.1 percent from the field and has been named to the preseason Big West All-Conference teams.