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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Northern Arizona suffered a big blow three days before the season when leading scorer Dwayne Russell decided to transfer from the program.

After an early regrouping period, the Lumberjacks handled the surprising loss fairly well.

NAU lost seven of its first nine games after Russell left, but started to gain confidence once the Big Sky season started.

In their second season under Jack Murphy, the Lumberjacks finished tied for second in the Big Sky Conference at 12-8 and went 15-17 overall.

NAU appears to be in good shape for next season, too, losing just one senior.

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