Northwestern St splits with Sam Houston St - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Northwestern St splits with Sam Houston St

[Information provided by Northwestern St]

HUNTSVILLE, Texas – DeQuan Hicks scored 24 points and snatched 13 rebounds, helping spark a furious rally in the closing minutes as Northwestern State overcame a 14-point first-half Sam Houston State lead to win 73-64 Monday night and remain perfect through three Southland Conference basketball games.

The Demons closed the game on a 20-4 run, charging from seven points down with 5:35 left to snatch the victory. The final margin was the biggest of the night for Northwestern (9-4 overall, 3-0 in the Southland) while the Demons won for the sixth time in seven games, and the fourth straight contest.

James Hulbin added 14 points and eight rebounds, all the boards in the second half. Shamir Davis scored 12 and posted seven assists, one off his career high, while Jalan West added 10 points, four assists and two steals. Hicks had four assists and three steals while making 9 of 14 shots from the floor.

"He was pretty amazing. That's the kind of player we know he can be, somebody who creates problems for the opponent all over, and tonight, he was big time in the paint," said Demons coach Mike McConathy, pointing out that defensive pressure, forcing the tempo and pounding the ball inside keyed the winning rally against SHSU (8-6, 1-1).

"We turned it up a notch, got them off balance. We switched from our zone to a man with a lot of aggressive defensive pressure,"said McConathy. "We contested shots and got them out of their rhythm, and that made a huge difference.

"Offensively we finally got our cycles going, getting the ball up the floor, pushing it and making things happen.

We had some really nice sequences. We'd score and then get a turnover off defensive pressure," he said.

After making seven turnovers in the first seven minutes, NSU had only five more in the final 33. The Demons struggled at the free throw line in the first half, sinking only 4 of 11, but they drained 11 of 14, including their last eight over the final 3:04 when NSU outscored the Bearkats 11-2.

The Demons trailed for the game's first 30 minutes, finally going up by 51-50 on three straight baskets by senior center O.J. Evans with 9:13 to go. The Bearkats responded with a 10-2 burst into a 60-53 advantage with 5:35 left, but Hicks scored seven straight in just over a minute to get it back to a one-possession game.

West popped two free throws with 3:04 left to give NSU the lead for good.

"We struggled pretty badly but we never lost our composure. We bowed our necks and fought back against a tough opponent on their homecourt," said McConathy.

Northwestern started a three-game road swing this week with the comeback triumph. The Demons meet another Southland leader, Oral Roberts, in Tulsa Thursday night in a game televised by Fox College Sports, then visit Central Arkansas Saturday afternoon.

NSU is at home again next Thursday, Jan. 17 against Nicholls in an ESPN3 game.


HUNTSVILLE, Tex. – Seventeen second-chance points and Sam Houston State's offensive rebounds crippled the Northwestern State women's basketball team as they lost 72-61 Monday night in Southland Conference action.

The Bearkats (6-8, 2-0 SLC) outrebounded NSU (5-8, 1-2) 41-26 with including a 15-4 mark on offensive boards. SHSU had 17 second-chance points compared to the five for the Lady Demons.

"I can't fault our offensive effort. It's just defensively we gave up too many free points," said co-head coach Brooke Stoehr. "I thought we we're very selfish defensively and let some old habits get back to us and now we need to have a quick turnaround and get ready for Thursday."

The Lady Demons continue their road trip Thursday when the face Oral Roberts at 5 o'clock.

Britni Martin, the league's third leading scorer, scored 21 to lead all players. Sequeena Thomas followed that up with 19 points and 13 rebounds which was the second double-double NSU has given up in as many games.

The Lady Demons had four players in double-digits and had a higher shooting percentage (45.8) than the Bearkats (43.4). Keisha Lee finished with 15 points, Janelle Perez had 14, Jasmine Upchurch with 13, and Danielle Westerfield collected 10.

"Keisha's a great offensive player for us, and probably our best perimeter attacker.  Janelle's a great set-up person and she can knock down the open shot," said Stoehr. "We talk about when your number is called, and I felt like she (Westerfield) she got some good rebounds and some good stops defensively during the second half, and obviously hit some shots.

Westerfield had not played in the last two games for the Lady Demons.

SHSU shot 15 percent over their season average in 3-pointers hitting 43 percent.  Martin led the way shooting 5-9 from behind the arc.  The Bearkats led 15-13 in turnovers and the two teams tied with 19 assists.

NSU was able to make a run late in the second half when they were down 16 points with 10:56 to play and the Lady Demons cut it to five by the 4:56 mark. Martin nailed a 3-pointer that sparked a 14-8 run to end the game.

After Oral Roberts, NSU will round out its road swing with Central Arkansas Saturday before playing Nicholls at home Jan. 17.

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