A new season begins this week for Northwestern State with a chance to put the disappointment of the Arkansas loss in the rearview mirror right away.
The Lady Demons (3-5) saw a hot start against the Razorbacks fade away with a 24-0 Hogs run that lasted into the second quarter making the game a runaway early.
“You always evaluate yourself after a game, whether it’s a win or a loss,” fourth-year head coach Jordan Dupuy said. “We talked about that on the bus and hopefully they did that. We have no choice to put it behind us because we have a quick turnaround with two days to prepare for a really good team in Sam Houston.”
NSU turns its attention to Southland Conference play beginning with Sam Houston State on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. inside Prather Coliseum. Live coverage is available at www.nsudemons.com.
The run through the non-conference schedule has been a challenge for the Lady Demons, primarily in terms of finding an offensive rhythm. Six of the eight games have seen a 30 percent or lower field goal percentage for the purple and white, with the dramatic 61-59 finish against Central Baptist as the lone win.
The defense continues to rank among the top in the country in forced turnovers and steals, but converting on the other side has been the challenge for NSU.
“We have to stay true to the things that we’ve tried to build ourselves off of and the things that we feel like we’re good at doing,” Dupuy said. “Keep turning people over, but make sure that we are more efficient on the offensive end.”
This week serves as a chance to hit the reset button on the season as now everyone has an 0-0 record with SLC play tipping off.
Sam Houston State (4-4) dropped a 95-71 game at Oklahoma on Sunday but were winners of its previous two games against Jarvis Christian and at UT-San Antonio. Although it can be difficult to judge the caliber of a team on its non-conference slate, the Bearkats and Lady Demons do share one common opponent on the season – Texas Tech.
“That was their first game of the year so they’re a different team than they were then,” Dupuy said. “The thing that has stayed consistent though is how hard and how physical they play. You can really see it in the way they want to push the tempo as much as they can, especially after a defensive rebound.”
Three Bearkats average 6.0 rebounds or better and 26.4 defensive rebounds per game, fourth best in the conference. Their 75.1 point per game scoring average is second highest in the Southland and 41.6 percent shooting effort puts them fourth.
Current SLC Player of the Week, sophomore forward Amber Legget, leads Sam Houston and the Southland in scoring at 14.8 points per game. She scored a season-high 26 points in the game against Oklahoma going 10-for-17 from the floor.
A new start and a new season await the Lady Demons on Wednesday afternoon, with a new chance to go 1-0 on the year.
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