Hot-shooting No. 13 Texas takes down Northwestern State

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AUSTIN, Texas – The Northwestern State women’s basketball team started
strong and finished the same way Saturday afternoon.

In between, however, No. 13-ranked Texas made things tough on the
visiting Lady Demons. The Longhorns used big scoring advantages in the
second and third quarters to score a 104-66 victory inside the Frank
Erwin Center.

Despite the final score, the Lady Demons (5-6) found plenty of positives.

“There are a lot of things we have to improve on, but there are a lot
of areas wher we’re seeing a lot of growth,” third-year head coach
Jordan Dupuy said. “We forced them into more turnovers than we had.
That’s a huge step for us. We had more assists than turnovers. That’s
growth.”

The Lady Demons played as good a first quarter as they have against
any Power Five conference opponent this season. NSU hit 6 of its first
10 shots and used back-to-back buckets from freshman RaVon Nero to
pull within seven points (25-18) after the first 10 minutes.

The quick start continued for Nero, who tallied 18 points on 8-of-11
shooting, her seventh double-figure scoring output in the first 11
games of her career. Following a one-point debut at Arkansas, Nero
averaged 14 points per game in NSU’s final three matchups with Power
Five foes Oklahoma, Alabama and Texas.

“Ray was doing the things she can do and that we ask her to do,” Dupuy
said. “Look at the efficiency of her minutes. She played 19 minutes
and had 18 points. You can say, ‘Oh, she needs to play more.’ On that
flip side, if she plays 25 to 30 minutes, she’s playing more when
she’s tired and trying to stretch those minutes out, and she isn’t as
efficient.”

The Lady Demons were efficient offensively, shooting 48.3 percent from
the field. Despite that accuracy, the Longhorns (10-2) were even
better.

Texas shot 54.5 percent and grabbed 24 offensive rebounds, leading to
a 31-rebound advantage (47-16) against Northwestern State. Those
rebounds led to 37 second-chance points for Texas, which enjoyed a big
day from the 3-point line as well.

The Longhorns connected on 12 of 19 3-pointers (63.2 percent) with
Danni Williams (5-for-7) and Sug Sutton (4-for-4) leading the way.

“You have to pick your poison,” Dupuy said. “You can choose to keep
them out of the paint or run them off the 3-point line. We chose to
try to keep them out of the paint. Coming in, they only had two
players shooting over 30 percent (from 3-point range). Today, they
just hit.”

Texas put six players in double figures, led by Destiny Littleton’s 22
points, thanks to an 11-for-11 performance at the free-throw line.

In addition to Nero, Libba Gilliam reached double figures for
Northwestern State, hitting all three of her 3-point tries and
finishing with 10 points.

“Us shooting 48 percent on the road at a Power Five team is huge,”
Dupuy said. “Our bench outscored their bench. There are some things we
have to get corrected quick, but we are going to stay positive. There
were a lot of positives to come out of today’s game.”

Northwestern State returns to action Wednesday when it opens Southland
Conference play at Nicholls on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at
Stopher Gymnasium.