Northwestern State returns home on Thursday looking to build on the positive steps it took from the trip to Oklahoma State.
“I thought defensively the girls did a good job and we were able to mix up but they (Oklahoma State) just shot the lights out,” head coach Anna Nimz said. “It wasn’t a lack of effort on our end, we had hand in the face, fully contested shots but when a team is shooting that way it’s hard to stop.”
The Lady Demons’ (1-1) added length on the perimeter and around the basket, along with their increased depth, have already proven to be a big commodity, the light’s out performance by the Cowgirl shooters notwithstanding.
NSU will need that same intensity and effort on the defensive end in its next two games against Baton Rouge based teams.
For the first time in nearly 15 years, the Lady Demons take on Southern inside Prather Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on with subscription on ESPN+. Tickets for the game are available by visiting www.nsutickets.com. NSU will then travel to the Louisiana state capital on Sunday for a meeting with No. 15 LSU.
“Down the stretch we forced them (OSU) to have to make some good plays and offensively we showed some poise and had a few less turnovers which was good,” Nimz said. “I thought we ran the offense relatively well and controlled the clock a little better.
“We’ve got to continue to play at that level when we’re not playing Power 5 teams. That’s going to be the biggest test moving into Thursday.”
Part of that test also will also come in the form of on-court communication, especially on the defensive end of the floor. A point of emphasis during practices following the trip to Oklahoma.
“If we aren’t communicating like we need to in practice and having that on-court leadership and energy, it’s not going to translate to games,” starting guard Sharna Ayres said. “We need to have that high energy and have it be positive energy and feedback. If we’re negative and loud it isn’t helpful for anyone. If we’re staying positive with our talk that produces the best outcomes.”
The Lady Demons take on a Southern team that has seen some of the top competition in the country through the first three games.
The Jaguars lost a pair of opening week games in the state of Iowa against the No. 4 ranked Hawkeyes and the No. 8 ranked Iowa State. Earlier this week they hosted No. 20 Oregon in Baton Rouge.
“They’ve given each of those teams as much as they’ve wanted to handle,” Nimz said. “They’ve played tremendously in those first three games, run their offense very efficiently and made people play at their speed. Credit to Coach (Carlos) Funchess and the girls down there, they are never out of it, regardless of the runs, good or bad, they are never going to be out of the equation.”
Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services