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Thomas’ double-double helps NAU defeat San Diego Christian

FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2017, file photo, Northern Arizona head coach Jack Murphy reacts in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona, in Tucson, Ariz. Murphy zigzagged his way through his hometown to watch recruits play in gyms across Las Vegas. While coaches at schools like Duke, Kansas and Arizona had their eyes set on the elite, five-star players during the high school showcases, Murphy and coaches at other low-major programs had their sights set on players much further down the recruiting ladder. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Isaiah Thomas reached career bests with 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Northern Arizona sank 7 of 8 free throws in the final minute to defeat San Diego Christian 79-70 Wednesday night.

The double-double was the second straight for Thomas, and NAU (2-7) has won consecutive games for the first time in nearly a year. The Lumberjacks, coming off a win at Cal State Bakersfield, last won back-to-back games in January (Northern Colorado and North Dakota).

Karl Harris and Gino Littles also recorded career highs in scoring for NAU — Harris with 19 and Littles with 12.

Derek Novsek led the Hawks, of the NAIA, with 22 points and Nick Crankshaw added 13. Anthony Gonzalez scored with two minutes left, pulling the Hawks to within 72-69. But Littles and Harris each made two free throws and Jojo Anderson made 3 of 4. NAU converted 17 of 22.

San Diego Christian was outrebounded 43-29, outscored 44-36 in the paint but banged in nine 3s and scored 15 points off 14 NAU turnovers.

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