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Hot shooting Islanders stun Northwestern State
Jan 11, 2014 | 173 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Northwestern State senior guard Brison White scored 16 points against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but it was not not enough as the Islanders upset the Demons 101-87 Jan. 9. Photo by Gary Hardamon/Northwestern State.
Northwestern State senior guard Brison White scored 16 points against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but it was not not enough as the Islanders upset the Demons 101-87 Jan. 9. Photo by Gary Hardamon/Northwestern State.
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Texas A&M-Corpus Christi shredded Northwestern State’s defense repeatedly Jan. 9 while hitting 71 percent of its second-half shots and 60 percent overall, while protecting the ball and its lead with 16 of 21 free throw aim in a surprising 101-87 Southland Conference basketball upset of the preseason league favorites.

The Islanders (6-10, 3-0 Southland) overcame an early nine-point deficit in which the Demons (5-9, 1-2) picked up three baskets off steals. NSU, averaging 10.2 per game, added only two more, just one after halftime, as A&M-Corpus Christi blended steady perimeter shooting with deadly efficiency attacking the basket.

Six Islanders contributed double-digit scoring to their highest total of the season (by 20), led by point guard John Jordan with 22 points (11-16 on free throws).

Five others scored between 15 and 10 points.

Demons’ freshman Zeek Woodley, who had 30 points last Saturday on 12 of 15 shooting against Lamar, nearly matched that with 27 points on 10 of 11 aim from the floor and 7 of 8 free throw shooting.

Sophomore point guard Jalan West scored 17 and had a game-high nine assists with two steals, with seniors Brison White (16 points) and DeQuan Hicks (14) rounding out NSU’s offensive punch.

Northwestern’s second wave was ineffective as A&M-Corpus Christi had a surprising 32-13 advantage in bench points.

Down 50-44 after Sabri Thompson took a West pass and nailed a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, NSU drew within 55-52 early in the second half, but A&M-CC launched a 14-2 run that pushed the margin to 15.

The Demons never got closer than 12 points afterward.

“A&M-Corpus Christi is really solid, they don’t make mistakes, and we made them even better. When we did defend well down the stretch, they hit shots up against the shot clock, including a 3-pointer with two seconds left. That shows how tough they were tonight, how well they’re coached,” said NSU coach Mike McConathy.

NSU had won the rebounding battle in four of its last five games, but was whipped on the boards 38-27.

“We got outrebounded by 11, by 10 in the second half,” said McConathy. “The other team didn’t miss very many shots after halftime, first of all, so there weren’t missed shots to get, and again, the team that wanted to prove it is a contender gave great effort. We weren’t lackadaisical, but they made the exceptional effort we didn’t match.”

The Demons sank 48 percent of their shots and had only 11 turnovers (A&M-CC had 10).

NSU sank 21 of 28 free throws (West went 8-11 along with Woodley’s 7-8). Both teams had six 3-point baskets as the Islanders missed only four treys, while NSU went 6-for-14 from distance, with White hitting all three of his tries.

“We thought they were really good. This is not a fluke,” said McConathy. “This was a whipping provided by a much improved team that has gotten one of its best players back from an injury and in the last six games, they have stepped up. We had shown progress until tonight and now we have to regroup and get after it Saturday night at Houston Baptist.”

NSU will play at 7:30 tonight at Houston Baptist, and comes home to face another of the Southland’s unbeaten teams, Stephen F. Austin, next Thursday. SFA visits A&M-CC tonight.
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