Dec. 2, 2007
Flagstaff, AZ - Junior Jenna Sybesma scored a career-high 19 points, including 15 in the second half, but Northern Arizona used a 19-8 run over the last six minutes for a 71-59 victory in a non-conference game Sunday afternoon at the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, AZ. The Lions drop their second consecutive game to fall to 4-4 while the Lumberjacks improve to 4-4.
On an afternoon when the Lions' starting post players battled foul trouble, Sybesma was outstanding off the bench. She scored 13 of LMU's 15 points during a 12-minute stretch of the second half, finishing 9-for-15 from the floor with six rebounds and three assists. Freshman Melanie Ysaguirre also provided a lift off the bench with a career-high 10 points to go along with five rebounds.
The story of the game was at the two lines: free throw and three-point. The Lumberjacks outscored the Lions 25-5 at the charity stripe, going 25-for-30 (83.3%) while LMU made just 5-of-16 (31.3%). Behind the arc, LMU made the Lumberjacks pay in the opening 20 minutes, going 6-for-12, but missed all eight of their attempts in the second half.
With LMU's bigs in foul trouble, Laura Dinkins and Ashley Ingle combined for 31 of NAU's 42 second half points. Dinkins led all scorers with 23 points and 13 rebounds while Ingle had 19 points, 12 boards, and four blocks. Jenna Galloway added 14 points off the bench.
LMU finished the game shooting 35.3% (24-for-68) overall and 30.0% (6-for-20) from three-point range. The Lumberjacks shot 37.9% (22-for-58) overall and 28.6% (2-for-7) from downtown. LMU held a slight 45-44 rebounding advantage.
NAU turned the ball over on its first four possessions and the Lions took advantage, going inside to score the game's first five points through senior Valerie Ogoke and Sybesma. The Lumberjacks' woes continued as they missed their first four shots and committed six turnovers in the game's first four minutes.
NAU switched to a zone to try to slow down the Lions but back-to-back three-pointers by sophomores Kavita Goss and Jessica Vargas staked the Lions to an 11-2 advantage. The Lumberjacks responded with a 12-0 run with four points each from Dinkins and Ingle to take a 12-11 lead with 9:53 left. The Lions answered right back through freshman Renahy Young's three-pointer from the wing and Goss followed with another triple.
With two fouls apiece on Ogoke, Sybesma, and redshirt freshman Aleyse Evans, the Lions got a lift off the bench by Ysaguirre, who scored six points and grabbed four rebounds in 10 first-half minutes to help the Lions extend their lead to 30-22.
Foul trouble plagued the Lions towards the end of the first half, with the Lumberjacks scoring nine of their final 11 points of the period from the line. Still, the Lions kept NAU at bay with the long ball, knocking down half of their 12 attempts to take a 35-29 halftime lead.
Ogoke picked up her fourth foul three minutes into the second half and the Lumberjacks took advantage down low. LMU led 40-33 before Ingle got loose twice for layups and Dinkins finished on the break to give NAU a 41-40 advantage with 15:05 to go. The Lions went without a field goal for over five minutes until Sybesma's jumper from the baseline at 12:34 broke that drought. Sybesma followed with another layup to bring LMU back within two, 47-45 at 11:55 and Ysaguirre tied it at 47-all with a jumper inside.
Ultimately, the Lions had no answer for Dinkins, who scored 13 consecutive points to help the Lumberjacks extend their lead to 64-51 with 2:38 left. Sybesma did her part for the Lions, scoring 13 out of LMU's 15 during one stretch but the Lions had another scoring drought of four minutes as NAU pulled away.
LMU falls to 1-7 all-time against NAU and has dropped all five of its contests in Flagstaff. The Lions had a strong cheering contingent, with sophomore Jessica Vargas returning to Flagstaff for first time since starring at Sinagua HS and
LMU returns to Gersten Pavilion for a three-game home stand beginning Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Fresno State. On Saturday, the Lions host Cal Poly at 2 p.m.