Freshman leads NAU basketball to second-best game score

Amy Patton has been on the Northern Arizona campus less than a year, but already she is making her mark on the women’s basketball program.  Just as she did in her first year playing for McClintock HS in Tempe.

The 5’10” guard scored 35 points in a shoot-out with Sacramento State, as the 202 combined points for the game was just one point off the all-time school record, set 30 years ago!

The Lumberjacks came out on the short end of the 104-98 decision, but the home crowd left nonetheless with an exciting night to remember.  Patton, who averaged 31 points in her career at McClintock HS, dueled Sacramento States’ sharpshooter, Charday Hunt, adding an extra component to the drama.  Hunt finished with 32 points, as she and Patton exchanged baskets all night long.

“No one will leave here saying it was a boring game,” said NAU coach, Laurie Kelly, after the game.  “I don’t think I have ever been a part of a game where two teams scored that many points.”

Big things have been expected of Patton, who was the Arizona Republic Player of the Year her senior year, when she led McClintock to the State finals.  She has always been an all-around contributor, finishing her high school career averaging 14 rebounds a game – as a guard!  She grabbed a game-high 11 boards against Sacramento State, her fourth straight double-double.

So it’s not surprising she got started early on her college career.  After all, she was a first-team All-Region selection as a high school freshman and led McClintock to the State finals that year, the first time in 10 years the school had gone that far.

The Jacks picked up their game in response to Patton’s scoring effort, shooting 48.8 percent from the field, also a season high, in addition to the 98 points.  They were also deadly at the line, going 13-for-13 for another season-high performance.  Patton was 15-of-23 from the field, 3-of-5 on three-point attempts, and perfect at the line, 2-for-2.

As often happens, the game was decided on the boards, as NAU lost the rebounding war, 48-37, and 20-13 on the offensive glass.

It was a hard one to lose for the Jacks.  But the home crowd got their money’s worth, and then some.

(Patton photo: NAU Athletics)