Sam Houston snaps NSU's six game winning streak - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Sam Houston snaps NSU's six game winning streak

Posted: Updated:
HUNTSVILLE, TX -

A late Northwestern State rally fell just short Thursday night as the Demons sliced a 16-point deficit to two in the closing seconds, but a desperate 35-foot 3-pointer by Zeek Woodley was just off the mark and Sam Houston State prevailed 67-64 in a physical Southland Conference basketball contest.

 

The outcome snapped a six-game win streak by NSU (11-12 overall, 7-5 in the Southland) and solidified Sam Houston's grip on second place in the standings. The Bearkats (18-6, 10-2) won their fifth straight going into a home matchup Saturday night against unbeaten league-leader Stephen F. Austin (22-2, 12-0).

 

Sam Houston got 19 points by Terrance Motley and 10 points and 11 rebounds from James Thomas. The Bearkats won the rebounding battle 49-39, the first time in five games the Demons were beaten on the boards.

Brison White led the Demons in scoring with 19 points, with DeQuan Hicks getting 16. Jalan West had 12 points, a team and career-best 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals.

 

West sank three free throws with three seconds left to get NSU within 66-64. The Bearkats' first inbounds try was knocked out of bounds by Woodley. After needing a timeout to avoid a turnover on a five-second violation on the second try, Sam Houston got it to Paul Baxter, who hit the second of a two-shot free throw opportunity with 1.8 seconds left. NSU got it to Woodley, whose bid to tie was off the glass and skipped off the front of the rim at the final buzzer.

 

The Demons used  a 20-8 run over six minutes to get within 66-64. NSU was down by nine, 64-55, with 33 seconds to go and by eight, 66-58, with 19 seconds left.

 

Hicks hit a 3-pointer, White had a three-point play and West nailed his three free throws in the closing surge. Only two free throws with Kaheem Ransom at the 19-second mark blunted the visitors' rally.

 

 "I don't know if I've ever had a team that faced so much that went wrong, and battled back to have a chance to tie or win the game in the final seconds. I'm very, very proud of how hard we fought, how well we competed against a very good team to get that opportunity to win," said Demons coach Mike McConathy.

 

"As bad as we were offensively for the first 30 minutes tonight, we figured out a way to get it done and nearly pulled it off," he said.

 

The teams, who fought to a 107-104 double overtime SHSU win in the league opener Jan. 2, were each unable to approach their scoring averages (NSU second nationally at 87.4 per game, SHSU 30th at 79.1) as they combined to make just 35 percent of their shots.

 

"It was extremely physical and we struggled to adjust to that style of play. We weren't as tough as Sam Houston was as they took control of the game. We had a lot of empty possessions and Jalan was really bounced around, so it was very challenging to have any flow offensively," said McConathy.  "Credit Sam Houston for a great defensive performance and we have to learn from what went wrong in the first 30 minutes tonight."

 

The Demons opened a string of five straight on the road. They play Saturday evening at 6 at Lamar.

Release provided by Northwestern State University sports information department.