NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Northwestern State women’s basketball team ends a run of three out of four games on the road to begin Southland Conference play on Saturday.
And they do so against one of the most familiar opponents in program history – Stephen F. Austin. As the Lady Demons prepare for their 82nd meeting with the Ladyjacks, they approach it with a mix of respect and the understanding of what each of their 18 conference games means.
Northwestern State (6-8, 1-2) has had an uneven start to its conference season while Stephen F. Austin (11-3, 2-0) is one of three unbeatens in conference play, joining Abilene Christian and Lamar, both of whom are 3-0.
Tipoff for the Southland Conference matchup inside William R. Johnson Coliseum is set for 2 p.m. Saturday’s game can be heard through streaming audio on www.NSUDemons.com/watch and the new Northwestern State Athletics mobile app, which is available to download on either the Apple Store or Google Play. Tony Taglavore, in his 11th season, will have the play-by-play call of the game.
“It really doesn’t matter when it comes to conference games,” third-year head coach Jordan Dupuy said of how each team has started the season. “(Stephen F. Austin coach) Mark (Kellogg) does a great job with his preparation. They’re going to do what they do.”
The Lady Demons have not won at Johnson Coliseum since Jan. 27, 2010, a span of six games. In order to try to change their luck in Nacogdoches, the Lady Demons have changed a bit of their preparation.
“We’re going to mix it up,” Dupuy said. “We’re going down the day before, shoot the night before, and hopefully, get some extra rest Saturday morning. Hopefully, that will lead to better play.”
While the Lady Demons hope a shift in travel planning leads to better play at Johnson Coliseum, Dupuy said he knows where his team needs to make strides in the general sense.
Northwestern State has been outrebounded in all three of its conference games and all but one this season. In its three Southland games, NSU has seen its opponents shoot 43.2 percent from the field. The Lady Demons have dropped each of their first two conference road games, falling 97-86 at Nicholls on Jan. 2 and 79-55 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi this past Wednesday.
“We play fast, which leads to more possessions and more points,” Dupuy said. “But (the opponent’s) shooting percentages has to go down and the rebounding margin has to tip to us in order for us to go where we want to go.”
Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services