Northern Arizona travels to Weber State Thursday night, hoping to extend their four game win streak and take sole possession of third place in the conference standings.
The Lumberjacks will not have it easy though, as the Wildcats have won 19 straight regular season conference home games and are 34-3 in regular season Big Sky home games under head coach Randy Rahe.
The Wildcats have also owned the all-time series against the Lumberjacks, collecting a 66-26 overall record. NAU hasn’t won in Ogden since the 2007-2008 season.
NAU head coach Mike Adras said he recognizes the importance of winning on the road to stay in the running for top three in the conference.
“It it a big game. We went into last week knowing if we wanted to get back in the conference race we had to win all three,” Adras said.
“We did that and we turn right around and play a team that did the same thing. We have to go to their place now and one team stays in the race.”
NAU might be playing their best defense of the season during the current winning streak. They have held opponents to just 38.7% from the field and 20.8% from behind the arc.
Senior forward Shane Johannsen was named the Big Sky Player of the Week after notching a perfect game (8-for-8 from the field) against Montana State last week.
The Lumberjacks are also coming off one of their most convincing wins of the season, rolling 70-53 over Montana, a team ranked No.14 in the collegeinsider.com’s Mid-Major top 25. This was just the team’s second victory ever over a team listed in the website’s top 25.
If NAU can win in Ogden, they will head into the last five games of the season only having to play one conference opponent with a better record, Big Sky leaders Northern Colorado on Feb. 24.
After Utah State beat NAU at home 68-67 earlier this year, Senior guard Cameron Jones said he is looking forward to Thursday’s match-up.
“We are motivated to play them and they beat us last time in a heartbreak game so I think we are pretty anxious,” Jones said.
“We have to stop what they do and play the game with intensity.”