Cyclones prepare for Northern Arizona

Zach Gourley

The ISU women’s basketball team will be back in Hilton Coliseum this Sunday to take on Northern Arizona in its final home game before a difficult two-week road stretch.

The Cyclones (2-0) are coming off a 71-64 comeback victory against Drake on Tuesday in which they shot just 25 percent from the field in the first half and trailed 50-37 with 10:27 left in the game.

“We were down 13 after 30 minutes the other night and we were up 20 the last 10 minutes,” said coach Bill Fennelly in an email to the Daily. “We have to be more consistent in all things we do, especially staying focused every possession on defense and making the shots that we should make.”

The Lumberjacks come into Hilton Coliseum holding a 2-1 record, with the sole blemish coming in a 84-60 loss at Colorado.

Northern Arizona is led by junior shooting guard Amy Patton, an All-Big Sky second-team selection as a sophomore, who led the conference in scoring with 16.4 points per game.

Patton is off to a strong start this season as well, putting up 17.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while shooting 53 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

“We go from Drake, who had a good inside game, to NAU, which has a strength at guard,” Fennelly said. “[Patton] is a dynamic player that can impact a game in many ways. They also have a team that really has shown the ability to shoot the three.”

The Lumberjacks as a team shoot 43 percent from three, and have relied heavily upon their shooters, as 35 percent of their offense this season has come from 3-point shots.

“Mental mistakes, we can’t afford those,” said freshman guard Brynn Williamson. “They’re going to make shots in a game, but if you can do whatever you can to prevent those shots from happening, do it.”

The Cyclones and Lumberjacks will tip off at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Hilton Coliseum.

Following Sunday’s game, the Cyclones will head to Reno, Nev., to participate in the Nugget Classic, where they will face Penn State and either Butler or Nevada.