FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Montana State shot 53 percent in the second half to fight back from an 18-point deficit, but couldn't dig all the way out of a first-half hole in an 87-80 loss at Northern Arizona on Monday.
NAU shot 62 percent in the first half while holding the Bobcats to 33 percent shooting. Lumberjack freshman guard DeWayne Russell scored 12 points before halftime and scored 16 points overall. Max Jacobsen led all players with 22 points.
After Gaellan Bewernick opened the second half with a dunk to push NAU's lead to 20, the Bobcats responded.
A Jamie Stewart layup with 17:15 left started a 9-2 Bobcat run that pulled them back into the game. The Bobcats continued to compete, and a Flavien Davis layup at 6:33 pulled them within nine. MSU got to within five points a couple times in the second half, but NAU hit all six of its free throws in the closing minute to hold on.
Antonio Biglow led MSU with 15 points, while Davis added 14.
The Bobcats play again Wednesday at Sacramento State.