Men’s basketball falls to PSU on buzzer-beating 3


The Lumberjacks opened the second half on a 15-0 run and led by as many as six points. With 17 seconds left, Northern Arizona led by five points but missed four consecutive free throw attempts. Portland State’s Hunter Woods hit consecutive 3-pointers, including one right at the buzzer, and the Vikings stole a 75-74 win Thursday in Portland, Oregon.

“I feel for our guys and I feel for everybody involved. This needed to be a win. We had a five-point lead with 17 seconds to go. They ran the pick-and-pop, and we knew that was coming, he made it, but we got to go to the free-throw line where unfortunately we didn’t make any at the end. They made a miracle shot and Carson (Towt) had a great closeout to it,” said Lumberjacks coach Shane Burcar. “You have to give credit to Hunter Woods for making those two 3-pointers. This is hard to take.”

Northern Arizona dropped to 5-13 overall and 1-4 in Big Sky Conference play, and lost its third consecutive game to Portland State.

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Northern Arizona suited just nine players in Thursday’s action, as its leading scorer Jalen Cone did not make the trip due to an illness.

Four players scored in double figures, led by Towt, who earned his second double-double of the season with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Seven of his rebounds were offensive, and he finished 8 of 11 from the field with three assists. Xavier Fuller finished with 19 points.

Northern Arizona outscored the Vikings, 48-39, in the second half. It improved its shooting percentage to 51.6% in the second half. In all, the game had seven lead changes and three ties with Northern Arizona leading to 17:08 of the contest.

The Lumberjacks will play the Hornets at Sacramento State on Saturday.

Northern Arizona’s Maciej Ziomber celebrates winning a point during a recent men’s tennis match.

Wesley Salonen, NAU Athletics

Men’s tennis

The Lumberjacks were voted second in the Big Sky’s preseason coaches’ poll for the second season in a row.

The Lumberjacks return seven players from the 2021-22 season in which they reached the semifinals of the Big Sky tournament. They are bringing in newcomers Maikel De Boes and Piotr Galus.

Piotr Galus was born and raised in Szczecin, Poland. The sophomore appeared in 11 professional main doubles draws as well as nine singles prior to coming to Flagstaff.

The Purdue transfer had a pair of quarterfinal professional appearances while reaching the semifinals of the ITF Juniors Tennispark Open in 2018.

De Boes is from Beveren-Wass, Belgium. The incoming freshman started ITF Juniors tennis when he was 16, highlighting his juniors career with a singles ranking of No. 79, making De Boes the highest ITF-ranked player Northern Arizona has ever recruited.

De Boes won two ITF juniors singles tournaments along with eight doubles tournaments.

The Lumberjacks are coming off a 19-9 record while going 6-2 in conference play before falling in the semifinal matchup at the conference to Montana State. The Lumberjacks will host 12 home matches in Flagstaff and will head on the road for 14, with four current ITA-ranked teams on the schedule.

The Lumberjacks are returning Dominik Buzonics, who was named to the All-Big Sky Second Team after an impressive season at the No. 3 spot for Northern Arizona. Buzonics finished the 2021-22 season with a 17-9 singles record, finishing the season on a six-match win streak. Buzonics was also honored by the conference with doubles partner Alex Groves for All-Big Sky doubles accolades. The duo went 18-8 for the best doubles record on the team, primarily playing in the No. 2 slots.

Picked to finish first in the Big Sky is defending champion Idaho. The Vandals claimed a 4-3 victory over Montana State in the championship match. The Vandals were picked to finish first by all eight opponents, while giving their first-place vote to the Lumberjacks.

Northern Arizona will open its season against Bryant on Monday.

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