GRAMBLING – Northwestern State learned more about itself following Saturday’s hard-fought win and it hopes to learn even more after the first road trip of the year.
On Wednesday, the Lady Demons (2-0) make the trip to Grambling (1-0) for the first time December of 2014 looking to continue the growth process of a team still truly learning to play together.
Tip-off is schedule for 6 p.m. from the Hobdy Center with live LIVE BROADCAST locally on 95.9 FM Kix Country in Natchitoches.
“Saturday was a crucial game for us to experience,” head coach Anna Nimz said about the 71-56 win against Texas A&M-Texarkana. “It’s always good to be able to learn lessons from a win instead of from a loss. Having that game Saturday challenge us in the way that it did allowed us to, in theory, wake up and realize we still have a lot of work to put in. The girls are growing, and I’ll say this up until the start of conference that we’re building culture and standards.”
Through the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s game, the Lady Demons certainly found themselves in a battle against a physical and sizeable post presence. After entering halftime tied at 38, the NSU defense held Texarkana to just 18 second-half points and a stretch of nearly eight minutes without a field goal.
That lock-down defense allowed things to develop in transition for NSU and around the basket. Ten second-half points from the Southland Conference Player of the Week Jordan Todd, along with her team-leading 14 rebounds, afforded the Lady Demons more comfortable leads in the final 20 minutes.
“Early in the game is was tough getting things going because they were putting so much pressure on the inside,” Todd said. “At half time coach told us we needed to go inside-out to create more success. As they fed the ball in I was able to make my moves, get post moves and when I couldn’t score pass it out which gave us some success there too.”
A small halftime adjustment that paid big dividends on the night, a theme for Nimz and the team as they head into their first Division I game of the year against a quick and talented Grambling team.
It has been more than a week since Grambling last played a game, a 69-61 win against ULM to open the season. The second-leading scorer for the Lady Tigers from a season ago, Alexus Holt, lit up the scoreboard to the tune of 26 points behind an 11-for-13 effort from the free throw line.
“We have to focus more on winning the small things and allowing that to be what wins the game versus going into games only worried about the win,” Nimz said. “Getting jacked in the jaw a little bit on Saturday is good to send us into a tough opponent.
“Grambling is a very good team. They’ve added a handful of new players that have had success at their prior schools. This game is really going to tell us where we’re at, and ultimately what we’re trying to do is make sure we clean everything up by the time conference gets here.”
Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services