Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 11/30/12
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. Northern Arizona Head Coach Jack Murphy will coach his first regular season home game Saturday in the return to the Walkup Skydome against Sam Houston State. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:37 p.m. The game will be televised live on FOX Sports Arizona Plus. We are excited, said Murphy. We are looking forward to getting a lot of people out here and playing a good brand of basketball to keep them coming out. It will be the first collegiate game in the Skydome since a 26 million renovation. The Skydome features all-new lower level chair back seating and a new basketball court. The first 150 fans will receive the official "I Back Jack" t-shirts, in honor of Murphy's first home game as the head coach of the Lumberjacks. Our job is put a good product on the floor and play hard and compete for wins here at home, said Murphy. "To finally get home and to come back with some wins is very satisfying. We had a heavy burden on our shoulders with that long losing streak. Now we have to break our home court losing streak. The game will also feature the debut of Louie's Fun Zone. Similar to NAU FanFest for football, all Saturday men's basketball games will feature the all new Louie's Fun Zone, featuring basketball hoops, inflatable games, face painting, and much more. Louie's Fun Zone will open one hour prior to tip-off and will close 5 minutes prior to tip-off. It can be a defining moment for a lot of peoples careers, said senior guard Stallon Saldivar. It is a new era of NAU basketball and NAU sports. It would mean a lot to everybody if we got a win. The first 500 students will receive "NAU Lumberjack Foam Noodles " to help create the ultimate home-court advantage as the NAU student section has expanded to the areas behind both baskets. NAU played their first six games on the road this season, posting a 2-4 overall record. Guards Dewayne Russell (15.3 points per game) and Gabe Rogers (15.0) have led the Lumberjacks in the early going. I think the team really came together on the road, said Murphy. We had some difficult games and played in the some tough environments. I was really proud of how the guys responded on the road trip. Sam Houston State is 3-4 following a 65-37 loss to Texas earlier this week. Its three victories are over UC-Irvine, Liberty and Hardin-Simmons. Nine different Bearcats are averaging 16 or more minutes per game. Guard Darius Gatson leads in scoring (8.4 points per game) and assists (3.4).
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