Portland State hangs around until NAU finds a way to win

Portland State made a another visit to the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff and, once again, were in no hurry to leave.  In the last two games between the Vikings and Northern Arizona University, there were six overtime periods.

Last year, the game was also in Flag and went into four overtimes before Portland State pulled out the win.  Thursday’s game went into two overtimes, but the Lumberjacks got their revenge in an 85-84 win.

There was much more riding on the outcome of this game than just an opportunity to settle a score.  The NAU win gave the Jacks a half-game lead on the Vikings to keep their post-season hopes alive with just two games left to play in the regular season.

NAU improved to 12-13 overall and 6-8 in Big Sky conference play, settling into fifth place.  The final regular-season home game is tonight against 4-9 Eastern Washington.

Cameron Jones finished with 26 points to lead the effort in Thursday’s OT win and redshirt freshman Gabe Rogers had a big night as well, dropping 20 points on the Vikes, a career-high.

The game had all the drama of the first match-up between these teams.  There were 11 ties and nine lead changes as  both teams had to earn everything they got.  Fifty percent shooting from the floor by the Jacks kept them in the game, but they struggled at the free throw line where they went 12-for-24.

NAU tied the first overtime on a full-court run by Julian Olubuyi with just five seconds left.  Olubuyi made the layup but missed the free throw to send the game into the second overtime.  Junior DeAngelo Jones drove to the basket with 13 second left in the second overtime to seal the win.

(Photo credit: NAU Athletics)