NSU Demons outduel Nicholls

NATCHITOCHES -- Guards Devon Baker and Shamir Davis each scored 12 points Wednesday night, leading five Northwestern State players in double figures as the Demons shook off a five-game skid and knocked off visiting Nicholls 73-64 in front of 1,909 at Prather Coliseum.

The Demons (9-8 overall, 1-1 in the Southland) never trailed, but Nicholls (7-6, 1-1) gnawed a 13-point deficit down to 56-54 on a 3-pointer by Anatoly Bose with 4:05 left, only to see Northwestern tug away on a 9-2 run over the next 2:46. Dominic Knight's 3-pointer at the 1:42 mark was the key, pushing the Demons ahead 63-56.

Knight scored 10, as did Will Pratt, while Louis Ellis contributed 11. Northwestern sank 79 percent of its 29 free throws and outrebounded Nicholls 29-25 while overcoming a game-high 27 points from the nation's seventh-ranked scorer, Bose.

The Demons drained 10 of their last 12 free throws in the last 3:56, with Baker going 5 of 6 including four straight to carry Northwestern ahead 60-54.

"We showed some grit and determination when Nicholls took advantage of our mistakes and made a hard run at us late in the game," said Demons' coach Mike McConathy. "I was proud of the resolve we had to win this game."

Both teams shot 56 percent from the floor in the first half, but Northwestern went 11 of 14 on free throws while Nicholls got only 4 of 5 to make the difference. The Demons wound up outscoring the Colonels 23-13 from the line.

Fred Hunter added 11 points for Nicholls, which had 17 turnovers to 15 by Northwestern.

The nation's No. 1 shot blocker, Demons' forward William Mosley, was matched up on the perimeter against Bose down the stretch and fouled out. Mosley had 3 blocks, under his 4.8 average, after averaging 9 blocks in two games last week.

Northwestern hits the road to play Saturday at 4 at Central Arkansas, then comes home for a pair of games next week -- Wednesday night against Texas-San Antonio and next Saturday afternoon against rival McNeese.

(Courtesy: Northwestern St. Athletics Department)