Havre native Loree Payne, Northern Arizona advance to Big Sky championship

Montana State Bobcats vs. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks - Big Sky Conference women's basketball semifinal
Posted at 8:01 PM, Mar 09, 2022

BOISE, Idaho— Havre native Loree Payne and the No. 4 Northern Arizona women's basketball team are headed to the Big Sky Conference championship game after NAU topped No. 8 Northern Colorado 72-67 at Idaho Central Arena on Wednesday.

Khiarica Rasheed led NAU with 16 points as the Lumberjacks advanced to the title game for the first time since 2007. NAU last won a Big Sky Tournament in 2006.

NAU, which beat Montana on Tuesday in the quarterfinal rounds, improves to 17-13 this season, the best record the Lumberjacks have had under Payne in her five seasons as head coach. The turnaround comes as NAU has built itself up after going 7-23 in Payne's first season as head coach.

NAU will play the winner of No. 2 Montana State and No. 6 Idaho in the championship game on Friday at 1 p.m.