Lady Demons roll to big win in ‘Big Easy’

NEW ORLEANS – When the Northwestern State women are running on all cylinders, they are able to produce similar numbers to what they did on Saturday in a convincing 75-47 win at New Orleans.

The Lady Demons (9-5, 2-1) shot 50 percent from the field with 10 total assists and scored 30 points off 26 forced turnovers holding the Privateers (1-9, 0-3) to less than 30 percent shooting from the field.

“I think it was our best collective effort of the season,” head coach Anna Nimz said. “The biggest difference today was, we’ve been in a lot of games where we were able to capitalize and get up by five or six but allowed teams to come back. We were able to build on those five or six point leads today.

“We’ve continued to push our effort on the defensive end, and I thought they did a great job of that tonight. Shooters made shots but we played inside-out and any time you get more people touching the ball it creates more success for everybody.”

Jordan Todd set the tone early with a dominant first four minutes on both ends of the floor. She made the first bucket of the game on an inside pass from Candice Parramore then blocked the first of two shots in the quarter on the defensive side. A turnaround jumper in the lane and a pair of free throws gave her six of NSU’s first 11 points and a four-point lead.

After the strong start, the Lady Demons put the pedal down at the end of the first and into the second.

JaMiya Braxton drilled a 3-pointer to answer a UNO triple and Parramore swiped a pass for another defensive stop for an easy fast-break layup going the other way for five quick points and a 19-11 end of the quarter lead.

Braxton’s 3-pointer opened the flood gates from beyond the arc for the Lady Demons leading to the first stretch of play that put the game firmly into the Lady Demons’ hands.

The Lady Demons made 5-of-6 shots from beyond the line over the span of six minutes to double the eight-point lead by the time Josie Fleischmann ripped the net to end the hot streak. Four different players contributed to the 3-point flurry – Fleischmann, Braxton, Parramore and Alex Harrison with an assist coming from one of five different players each time.

“It was exciting that we went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc but what’s even more exciting for me is that we had assists on all of those shots,” Nimz said. “To finish the game with 10 assists, something we haven’t been doing a lot this year, shows they’re continuing to mature, get better, play through each other and that was good to see.”

NSU had assists on 43 percent of their baskets in the game, their seventh best performance of the season, with seven players contributing in at least one helper led by Jiselle Woodson’s three on the night.

The Lady Demons maintained the 16-point edge heading into the half and clamped down even more defensively to start the second half with a dominant third quarter on both ends.

They scored the first 11 points of the period, ballooning the lead even further, with Monette Bolden providing the final seven of the run in a row ending with a dagger 3-pointer from the right corner. The 19-4 overall run going back to the end of the second quarter put the game squarely in NSU’s hands.

The offensive success was a product of how stifling the defense was in the quarter, forcing seven turnovers in the period and converting those directly into 12 points. The 26 forced turnovers on the night was the second most by the NSU defense this season.

UNO went 3-for-14 from the field in the third quarter and scored just eight points shooting 22 percent from the field in the second half, leaving no doubt on the outcome of the game.

The Lady Demons saw 10 different players score at least three points in the game led by Parramore’s 15, Bolden’s 13 and Woodson’s 10. The 46 percent effort for the game was the second-best shooting game of the season and the 14 steals was the third most in a game this year.

Photo: Candler Harris