Sluggish start downs Demons against UTSA

NATCHITOCHES -- The sun came out, finally, Wednesday, but Northwestern State's shooting touch turned icy, as the Demons sank just 4 of 27 in the first half of a 63-58 homecourt loss to Texas-San Antonio in Southland Conference basketball.

Guard Devin Gibson scored 20 points, snagged 10 rebounds, issued 7 assists and made 5 steals to spur the Roadrunners (8-8 overall, 2-2 in the Southland). Will Pratt, benched quickly in a scoreless first half due to foul trouble, led NSU's comeback bid with 19 points afterward, and Shamir Davis added 10.

The Demons (10-9, 2-2) sank 15 percent of their shots in the first half before making 48 percent in the final period for a game total of 32 percent, their worst of the season.

"We got enough good looks. We got very few of them in the basket," said NSU coach Mike McConathy. "UTSA played a good game and earned the win. We didn't do enough to overcome our shooting, so we'll come in tomorrow and try to bounce back Saturday afternoon. It's going to be a dogfight every time out in our league."

Despite the loss, the Demons are only one game back of first a quarter of the way through the 16-game Southland schedule. NSU will host 3-1 McNeese State Saturday at 2.

After trailing by 29-20 at halftime and 44-30 with 13:47 remaining after a Gibson 3-pointer, Northwestern rallied with a 20-5 burst into a 50-49 edge with 6:30 to go. The game was knotted at 56-all with 3:59 to go when Pratt hit a layup, but that was the last field goal by the Demons, who only got off two more shots while suffering three turnovers and missing a pair of free throws. NSU got no closer than 3 in the last 25 seconds.

The outcome ended a two-game win streak for Northwestern while UTSA won for the second straight time on the road and for the second time in three games.

(Courtesy: Northwestern St. Athletics Department)