The Demons (4-5) had season-best marks of 60 percent shooting aim, 22 assists and 19 steals, and won the rebounding battle (46-38) for the first time this season. Tyler Washington also had a career-best scoring day with 13 points, while senior swingman Patrick Robinson matched his career high with 13.
The Demons got game-high totals of seven assists and five steals by sophomore point guard Jalan West. Hicks, with 25 minutes, topped the 13 Demons who played, 11 getting at least 12 minutes. For the second straight game, NSU played without junior center Marvin Frazier (out with pneumonia) and senior guard Gary Stewart (knee) missed his third consecutive contest.
White sank 10 of 16 shots from the floor and all three of his free throws, making him 10 of 11 in the last three games since he went 1 of 4 in a 107-100 home win over Niagara. Hicks also showed marked improvement at the line, making 7 of 10, after he sank just 5 of 14 in a Wednesday loss at Louisiana Tech and entered the game mired in a 16 of 41 slump on free throws after sinking 70 percent last season.
Louisiana College (3-2) got 15 points and nine by Anthony Gaines, 12 points and four steals from Doc Welch, and 10 points by Kevin Cottonham. It was the first time since 1999 the schools met in a series that dates back to 1914, making it the state's second-oldest active basketball rivalry behind NSU and Louisiana-Lafayette, which dates back two more years.
White scored 10 points, dunking three times, and added an assist to spark NSU to a 17-7 lead just over four minutes into play. The margin never dipped under double figures again.
A 3-pointer by West, who hit all three he tried, at the 11:11 mark of the first half pushed the Demons up by at least 20 for the first time (35-13). The spread was as big as 29 before NSU settled for a 58-36 halftime advantage.
"We did what you hope to do in a game against a lower-division team, especially one that is well coached and disciplined, and that's get off to a dominating start," said Demons' coach Mike McConathy. "We created turnovers and converted easy baskets. We hit open shots and we played well in transition to get control of the game."
The Wildcats got no closer than 20 afterward. The margin passed 30 points with 10:50 to go on a Tra'von Joseph tip-in for an 83-52 lead. Dustin Adams scored on an offensive rebound with 4:30 remaining to give the Demons their third 100-point game in four homecourt outings. The margin was as large as 45 in the final minute of play.
Northwestern won for only the second time in the last seven contests and ended a two-game skid.
"Winning the game is not anything we take for granted. It was a much-needed outcome," said McConathy. "Doing it in the manner we did, while getting everybody involved, was very encouraging to see. We have two very challenging games coming up and then it's time to focus on the Southland Conference season. We needed to play like this."
The Demons go to nationally-ranked Baylor next Wednesday night, then play a night later at UTEP. That's the last non-conference action for NSU, which opens the Southland season at home Jan. 2 against Sam Houston State and Jan. 4 against Lamar.