Nicholls got 27 points and 11 rebounds from Fred Hunter while making 50 percent of its shots, and helping contribute to 21 percent first-half accuracy and overall 40 percent aim by Northwestern. The Colonels led 39-22 at halftime, went up by 24 with just under 15 minutes remaining, and weathered a couple of comeback bids by the Demons, who drew within eight with 11:15 to go and were within nine with 1:46 left.
The outcome was the third win in five conference games by Nicholls (4-11 overall) while the Demons fell to 10-6 overall, 4-2 in the league in front of a season-high crowd of 2,832 that saw the first homecourt loss by Northwestern in eight games this season.
Jeremy Smith scored 18 and Dantrell Thomas 17 for Nicholls, which won for only the second time in 10 road games. The Colonels made 12 steals and benefitted from a season-worst 23 Northwestern turnovers.
DeQuan Hicks led the Demons with 19 points while James Hulbin had 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Shamir Davis scored 13, Brison White 11 and Jalan West 10 points, with West issuing seven assists.
"Nicholls played a great game and my hat's off to them. They came in ready to go, they were confident and they didn't waver," said 14th-year Demons coach Mike McConathy. "Our performance was lacking. We didn't try to miss all those easy shots, but we did miss them. We had a ridiculous number of unforced errors with turnovers and missed shots, and Nicholls did a great job of taking advantage.
The Demons went on a run of 16 unanswered points to slice the Colonels' 24-point advantage down, but Nicholls ran off seven straight points in a minute's span to reopen a 16-point 67-51 advantage with 7:14 remaining on a Smith basket. Another 7-0 burst late in the game sealed the outcome as Nicholls got two Hunter baskets and one by Smith to push the margin back to 16 at 90-74 with 43 seconds to go.
The Demons will try to rebound Saturday afternoon at 3 in Prather Coliseum against Southeastern Louisiana.