NATCHITOCHES – A hot start turned cold for Northwestern State in a 72-56 home loss to Southeastern Louisiana.
The Lady Demons (5-13, 2-7 SLC) and Kira Bonner’s 31 points were not enough to overcome the Lady Lions (7-11, 4-5 SLC) near 50 percent shooting effort from the field.
“It’s good that she was scoring the ball like she was in the first half,” fourth-year head coach Jordan Dupuy said. “We didn’t really get any contribution from anyone else on the offensive end. We fed the hot hand initially, but we knew they were going to make an adjustment.”
Bonner was the offense for the Lady Demons the entire first quarter and much of the first half. The senior scored the first 20 points of the game for NSU going 5-for-8 in the first quarter alone with a pair of dagger long balls.
After falling behind 12-4 midway through the first, Bonner engineered an 8-0 run all on her own to tie the game at 12 less than three minutes later. The Lady Lions 50 percent shooting performance in the first kept them in the lead after one at 17-13.
The Lady Demons remained close until some not named Bonner got on the scoreboard when Lacee Savage converted a pair of free throws with 5:49 left in the half making the score 23-22 SLU.
Tristen Washington put NSU up momentarily on a jumper a minute later, but the Lady Lions got it right back on their next possession and didn’t surrender it the rest of the half. NSU went cold from the field over the final five minutes of the half going 1-for-5 from the field to finish the second quarter.
It was a one-point game at the half and the Lady Demons were down 34-32 after a Kira Bonner jumper with 6:46 in the third. That would be the next to last field goal of the quarter for the Lady Demons who went the next 6:44 without a good field goal until Bonner made a 3-pointer with two ticks left.
Southeastern took control of the game during the scoring drought with an 18-4 run extending their slim lead to 52-40 by the end of the period. The only points for NSU coming on free throws from Bonner and Jocelyn Scott.
“They started to face guard Kira at the end of the first half and carried that over into the second,” Dupuy said. “They made her a screener and tried to force other people to get involved and they never really did. Give them a lot of credit. We were slow in a lot of our secondary rotations in the second half defensively as well and they took advantage of it.”
The offense continued to struggle through the fourth quarter going 4-for-9 from the field, not enough to erase the 12-point deficit.
The Lady Demons continue their three-game home stand on Wednesday night with a 6:30 p.m. game against New Orleans.
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