“Stiles has given them a lot of great things, she’s a really fast guard and can score pretty much anywhere on the court,” Payne said. “So for us, the biggest thing is containing their penetration and making sure we are contesting on outside shots.”
Gfeller, Stiles, Thurmon and Schoening have started all seven games this season, while Anderson missed the second game against the Bears with Kylie Frohlich stepping into the starting lineup.
Finishing 1-2 against Montana last season, NAU won the final meeting of the season in the Big Sky quarterfinals last March. Coming away with a 68-65 victory in Boise, the Lumberjacks bounced back after falling to the Lady Griz, 79-71, in Flagstaff and 70-57 in Missoula, just 12 days before the postseason meeting.
Anderson fared the best against NAU among Montana’s returners, averaging 15 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in the three games, including a career-best seven blocks during the meeting in Missoula.
“She’s a very efficient post player and effective for them,” Payne said. “I think us being a little thin in the post in our last few games has presented a challenge with teams who do have effective post players.
For the Lumberjacks, Emily Rodabaugh produced the best game of her freshman season against Montana, scoring 19 points while hitting 7 of 11 from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3. Khiarica Rasheed also posted double-digit scoring efforts in all three meetings, averaging 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds while hitting 50% from the field.