NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State had been knocking on the door in Southland Conference play, but not making enough plays in the final minutes to win in its first three road games.
Thursday, finally at home, the Demons busted that door down in a 79-70 win against Incarnate Word as NSU erupted on a 27-9 run in the final nine minutes.
UIW (4-17, 0-4 SLC) rode hot shooting and turned a four-point halftime deficit into a 59-52 lead, but the Demons roared back bolstered by an energetic Prather Coliseum crowd as NSU (5-16, 1-3 SLC) played its first contest at home in 40 days.
“We did an exceptional job of shooting, and we took good shots,” said NSU coach Mike McConathy after the Demons sank 57 percent, 75 percent (18-24) in the second half. “We got the ball inside to Kendal Coleman, and we had guys like Robert Chougkaz pick and pop for two straight key 3-pointers.”
Captain Shreve product Coleman, making 11 of his 15 shots, supplied a couple of raucous roars with a fierce dunk and a three-point play during the run to highlight a career-high 25 points with 13 rebounds. It’s the ninth double double in the last 11 games and 10th overall for the second-year freshman.
LOUISIANA TECH 80, RICE 63: In Ruston, the Bulldogs got their groove back as they recovered from a surprising homecourt loss to UAB. Kenneth Lofton Jr. posted 19 points and 13 boards as Tech (16-4, 7-1) cooked Rice (11-8, 4-4) and tuned up for Saturday’s key Conference USA matchup at the Thomas Assembly Center against North Texas.
LSUS 80, PAUL QUINN 75: At the Dock, the Pilots placed five players in double figures to knock off the previously undefeated Tigers in Red River Athletic Conference play. Jeff Boyd led the scoring parade with 17, Leondre Washington and Royce Hunter both tossed in 16, Kevin Norman 14 and Quentin Jones 13 as the Pilots (13-6, 6-1) shot 53 percent from the field and won their fourth straight. Paul Quinn (15-1, 3-1) got a game-high 22 points from Spencer McElway and Steven Tynes had 15.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 50, ULM 45: The Warhawks (10-11, 2-7) sank only 30 percent of their shots at home in Fant-Ewing Coliseum while losing their third straight Sun Belt Conference outing. The Eagles (9-9, 2-5) weren’t much better at 36 percent aim, but ULM’s 3-for-26 shooting behind the 3-point arc was fatal in a game with 10 ties and seven lead changes.
ARKANSAS 90, LSU 76: Kim Mulkey said going into Thursday’s visit to Fayetteville that Arkansas’ 3-point aim gave her sleepless nights. Now add indigestion to the list. The Razorbacks (14-6, 4-3 in the SEC) nailed 52 percent from distance in upsetting the 11th-ranked visitors (17-4, 5-3).
RICE 72, LOUISIANA TECH 64: Foul trouble and Rice’s hot shooting left the Techsters down 40-28 at halftime and they never recovered in Houston. Tech (10-8, 2-5) got 16 points and 10 rebounds by Anna Larr Robertson, but Rice (6-8, 1-5) rode 27 points from Ashlee Austin to prevail.
PAUL QUINN 58, LSUS 47: At the Dock, the Pilots fell behind early and never recovered in falling to the Tigers in a Red River Athletic Conference game. Angel Reese led LSUS (10-9, 5-2) with 15 points. Paul Quinn (11-4, 3-2) got a game-high 17 points from Johnesha Wilson.
UIW 52, NORTHWESTERN STATE 45: The Lady Demons (9-6, 2-2) collapsed after halftime, particularly in the fourth quarter, and blew a 14-point lead to Incarnate Word (5-10, 1-3). NSU made just 1 of its last 14 shots, and that was a desperate 3-pointer in the final minute. Visiting UIW outscored the losers 26-5 in the final 10 minutes.
CUTLINE – Captain Shreve product Kendal Coleman included this first-half jam in his career-best 25 points and collected 13 rebounds in the Demons’ homecourt win. (Photo by CHRIS REICH/NSU).