Jalan West scored 18 points with five assists, DeQuan Hicks had his second straight double-double and seventh of the year with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Brison White poured in 16 points and Zeek Woodley contributed 10 points and 6 rebounds for Northwestern (7-11 overall, 3-4 in the Southland).
In a contest with 12 ties and six lead changes, NSU got a pair of 3-pointers by freshman Sabri Thompson off West assists to escape a 78-all deadlock with 3:45 to go. The Demons, who continued their deadeye free throw aim by sinking 22 of 25, got a pair of Hicks free throws with 1:23 left for an 86-80 advantage. After 32-point scorer Shawn Glover bombed in a 3-pointer with 1:10 to go, NSU denied the Golden Eagles (10-10, 4-3) a tying trey as West’s tight defense contributed to an air-balled 3 by Glover with four seconds left that could have tied the score. West added a free throw to salt away the victory.
Oral Roberts got 29 points, a career high, by guard Korey Billbury. The Golden Eagles had only a 34-33 rebounding edge with NSU getting 13 offensive rebounds after snatching only one in its last loss, to league-unbeaten Stephen F. Austin Jan. 16.
Hicks drained 11 of 12 free throws while six other Demons contributed to the 88 percent aim at the free throw line.
The contest came on the heels of a 76-68 win Thursday night at Central Arkansas that snapped a three-game skid by the Demons, the preseason Southland favorites.
After hosting Incarnate Word Thursday, NSU will face Abilene Christian, McNeese State and Nicholls State in Prather Coliseum to complete the homestand.