Lumberjacks too strong for NSU; Demons fall 74-58 - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Lumberjacks too strong for NSU; Demons fall 74-58

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Deshaunt Walker poured in 22 points, 15 on 3-pointers, Thursday night as Stephen F. Austin took control going into and coming out of halftime in a 74-58 Southland Conference basketball victory over struggling Northwestern State.

 

The Lumberjacks (16-2 overall, 5-0 in the Southland) won their 13th in a row, the nation's fifth-longest overall winning streak and SFA's best since 2002-03. Scoring the last seven points of the first half to break a 28-all tie, and shooting 52 percent after halftime, the visitors took command, illustrated by a 44-25 rebounding advantage.

 

The Demons (5-11, 1-4), who entered the game leading the nation with an 89.7 scoring average, slowed the tempo in an effort to shore up a porous defense that ranked last in the country by allowing 91.7 per game. Northwestern posted its lowest scoring total in two seasons while abandoning its trademark wave substitution pattern, and SFA's bench outscored their counterparts 28-3.

 

Brison White led the Demons with 14 points, 12 while the teams battled through seven lead changes and nine ties in the first 17 minutes. Jalan West scored 13, had six assists and two steals, but fouled out for the first time in his sophomore season.

 

DeQuan Hicks scored 12  and Zeek Woodley, who had been on an offensive tear in the first four league games averaging over 23 a game, managed 11. Marvin Frazier, who leads the Southland with a 1.8 blocked shots average, swatted away five SFA shots in 18 minutes and led NSU with six rebounds.

 

The Lumberjacks got 16 points by Desmond Haymond, 13 by Thomas Walkup and 11 points and 13 rebounds, a game-high, from Jacob Parker.  Five straight points, including a 3-pointer, by Parker early after halftime vaulted SFA ahead 42-29 with 17:21 remaining in a decisive 14-1 run over the last 2:22 of the first period and the first 2:39 afterward.

 

Northwestern got no closer than nine points, 53-44, with 8:42 to go and trailed by as many as 19 points late in the contest.

 

SFA shot 45 percent overall and went 8 of 23 on  3-pointers, making 4 of 9 after halftime. NSU hit 48 percent in the first half from the floor, but made just 39 percent in the final 20 minutes, and just 2 of 11 on 3-pointers and 14 of 22 at the free throw line.

 

The Demons have an open date on Saturday and play next week at Central Arkansas on Thursday and next Saturday at Oral Roberts. They play at home again Jan. 30 to open a four-game homestand.

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