Lady Demons struggle to win in ice-breaker

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

NATCHITOCHES – Three weeks between games left the Northwestern State Lady Demons basketball team without its game for much of Tuesday night.

But NSU pulled away in the fourth quarter and posted a 79-67 victory against Champion Christian in Prather Coliseum, getting a much-needed tuneup before the Southland Conference season tips off Saturday at Southeastern Louisiana.

The Lady Demons – who had road wins at Arkansas State, ULM and Mississippi Valley before the unscheduled long break due to Covid cancellations – rose to 7-4, matching the program’s best start through 11 games since 2005-06.

“A win is a win and we’re going to take it and run and run fast,” second-year head coach Anna Nimz said. “Champion Christian was the aggressor right from the jump, knocked down some shots and gave us all we wanted and then some.

“We fought to the end and found a way to get it done,” Nimz said. “While I may not be overly thrilled with some of the play, it doesn’t mean I’m not proud of them. At the end of the day we’re walking away with our seventh win so hats off to them.”

Champion Christian (7-3), which returns the top four scorers from a National Christian College Association Division II championship team last season, led by as much as 12 in the first quarter, but NSU got on top midway through the second quarter and pulled away in the last 10 minutes, leading by as much as 18.

Candace Parramore, a Grambling transfer, led all Northwestern scorers with 20 points, her third 20-point game of the season. Jiselle Woodson finished with 18 and a career-high eight assists.

LSU: Will Wade’s 12th-ranked Tigers visit Florida tonight at 6 in a matchup carried on ESPN2.

LSU (14-1 overall, 2-1 in the SEC) swept nationally-ranked Kentucky and Tennessee at home last week. Florida (9-5, 0-2), led by former Louisiana Tech head coach Mike White, most recently fell 85-73 at powerful Auburn. White’s Florida teams are 7-3 against LSU.

OTHERS: Kim Mulkey’s 14th-ranked LSU women’s team hosts Missouri Thursday night. Louisiana Tech’s men (13-2) welcome Southern Mississippi to the Thomas Assembly Center Thursday, while the Lady Techsters visit USM in Hattiesburg in Conference USA outings.

Grambling, Northwestern State and ULM don’t play until Saturday.

Photo:  Chris Reich/NSU)