Head coach Anna Nimz used one word to describe Northwestern State’s season-opening 91-50 win on Tuesday night – tremendous.
The 40-point win driven by the 11 newcomers featured two double-doubles, four players with double-digit scoring nights, tied for the most points in a season opener in the past 20 years and the most rebounds in one game in 10 years. All things considered, tremendous was an apt description.
The Lady Demons (1-0) look to carry that feeling into Saturday as they host Texas A&M-Texarkana (0-2) in the second of three home games within the first two weeks of the season. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. in Prather Coliseum as part of an NSU triple header day that also features NSU volleyball at 1 p.m. against Nicholls and the NSU men at 7:30 p.m. against Champion Christian, the Demons’ home opener.
The game can also be heard locally on 95.9 FM Kix Country.
“We are looking to build off Tuesday night game and continue to get better,” Nimz said. “Over the past few days, we have been able to watch film and work on areas that need to be corrected. I believe we must learn to play at a high speed not only in the full court, but offensively and defensively in the half court.”
The high-speed pressure defense the Lady Demons used through much of the game created multiple opportunities on the offensive end and sparked a big night. A total of 23 points off turnovers and 22 fast-break points allowed NSU pull away big in the second and third quarters.
On top of the stiff pressure on the ball, NSU dominated the glass with 63 rebounds, 22 on the offensive end, the most in a single game in the past 10 years. There were only two instances of 10 or more rebounds in a game all of last season, the Lady Demons had three players do that on Tuesday night.
Jordan Todd gathered 15 to go along with her 15 points, one of the two double-doubles on the night with Candice Parramore’s 16-point, 10-rebound performance the other, and Jasmin Dixon grabbed 13 in the game.
The combination of pressure and elite rebounding allowed plenty of opportunities for many players to get involved on the offensive end. Four reached double figures on the night and the Lady Demons matched the highest point total in a season opening game in the past 20 years.
NSU scored 91 in a win against LeTourneau to start the 2019-20 season. Prior to that the last time it scored more than 91 to start a season was the first game of the first game of the 1993-94 campaign, a 102-74 win against ETBU.
With nearly a 50 percent shooting effort in the second and third quarters, NSU scored 58 points to outpace Centenary’s production across the entire game.
The scary part for opponents is the 22 percent shooting from beyond the arc, a number that Nimz wants to see go up, is one of the things that, despite a stellar start, can see improvement.
The Lady Demons made six of their 27 shots from beyond the arc against Centenary.
“I am a big supporter of the 3-pointer, but our percentages must continue to go up,” Nimz said. “I think we took a lot of rushed 3s instead of turning the court and creating the open look. I am excited to watch the girls take what they’ve learned from film and practice over the past couple of day and make the change on Saturday.”
Photo: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services
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