GRAMBLING – A handful of missed chances late in the game proved costly for Northwestern State in a 68-60 loss at Grambling on Wednesday night.
The Lady Demons (2-1) battled with Grambling (2-0) for the full 40 minutes in a game filled with back-and-forth runs by both teams. NSU got clutch plays and tough shots from Candice Parramore, Monette Bolden and Jordan Todd all night, but the key bucket wouldn’t fall when it needed it the most.
“I think the girls worked incredibly hard,” head coach Anna Nimz said. “I believe we got better throughout the game and genuinely grew as a team. We missed a handful of rebounds around their rim that hurt our runs. The girls continue to attack the offensive end, but we are missing out on making that extra pass at times.
“I know we didn’t win the game but I absolutely don’t believe we chalk it up to a loss. In my opinion we learned. We needed this game in order to continue to grow and develop as a program. Excited for our teams continued growth.”
In a physical game from the start, Grambling had the early edge and used two late layups to take a seven-point lead into the second at 18-11. The Lady Demons got off to a slow start offensively with a 2-for-15 effort from the field but stayed close with five made free throws in the quarter.
The Lady Demons found their rhythm quickly in the second quarter. After an opening Grambling layup, NSU went on an 11-2 run to tie the game at 22. Eight of the 11 points came from Bolden and Parramore.
The Tigers answered with an eight straight and held that two-possession lead until the end of the half. Bolden knocked down a jumper at the buzzer to cut it to five at 34-29 to go into halftime.
Down by six in the third quarter, two straight buckets from Bolden and a 3-ball from Josie Fleischmann gave the Lady Demons their first lead of the game at 41-40 with four minutes left in the quarter. Karmelah Dean extended the lead with a jumper on the next possession but two straight buckets from the Tigers put them back ahead and up by a point, 46-45 at the end of the third.
After tying the game at 54 following a pair of free throws from Bolden, Grambling got a big momentum-swing on the next series after three offensive rebounds gave the opportunity for a layup and foul to go back ahead 57-54 with less than four minutes to go.
Parramore brought the Lady Demons back within a point two minutes later on a jumper but an empty possession following a Tiger 3-ball allowed them to extend their lead to six with less than two minutes to go.
Dean sliced through the lane for a layup to cut the margin down to four, but a 4-for-4 effort from the line down the stretch for the Tigers sealed the win.
Todd finished with her third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, scoring seven points and grabbing seven boards in the second half alone. Parramore led the Lady Demons with 15 points and Bolden finished with 14.
NSU returns home to take on Louisiana Christian on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Photo: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services