NSU opens league play at home Jan. 2 against Sam Houston State. The women’s game tips off at 5:30 p.m. with the men slated to start no earlier than 7:30 p.m.
Both Northwestern teams feature recent Southland Conference Player of the Week winners. Senior forward Trudy Armstead won Monday’s women’s honor for her performance in two weekend wins for the Lady Demons, while sophomore point guard Jalan West won the men’s award following the Demons’ most recent games Dec. 18-19.
Saturday afternoon, Lamar visits NSU. The women’s game starts the doubleheader at 1 p.m. with the men following at 3 p.m.
Both NSU teams wrapped up their non-conference schedules with impressive outings. The Lady Demons (7-5) swept two games last weekend in San Antonio, beating New Mexico State and North Dakota State. The Demons (4-7) didn’t win in their pre-Christmas two-game, two-day Texas trip, but forced 12th-ranked Baylor to overtime and except for a 10-0 spurt in the closing two minutes before halftime, played UTEP dead even in an 84-74 defeat the following night.
Sam Houston State is a defending Southland co-champion in women’s basketball and enters Thursday’s game at 5-6 this season. The SHSU men, who led the Demons until the closing minutes of last March’s Southland Conference semifinals, have one of the league’s top non-conference records at 8-4.
Lamar’s women are also 5-6. The Lamar men, coached by former Texas Tech coach Pat Knight, have again played an overly ambitious non-conference schedule and bring a deceptive 1-11 record into the start of the Southland season. Lamar plays at Stephen F. Austin on Thursday night to begin the league schedule.
All NSU games will be broadcast on the Demon Sports Network flagshipped by 100.7 FM KZBL in Natchitoches.