SAN ANTONIO – Northwestern State fell behind early Tuesday night against UTSA and were never able to recover, falling to the Roadrunner 73-55.
A 9-0 first quarter run by UTSA pushed the lead to double figures midway through the first, only dipping below 10 momentarily on a handful of occasions the remainder of the first half and not at all in the second.
“We didn’t execute offensively but we had some kids do some positive things and had some possessions with positive results,” first-year head coach Anna Nimz said. “I would say we didn’t execute about 90 percent of what we worked on – but we will and we’re going to continue to get better.”
UTSA showed no signs of rust after a 12-day break between games jumping out to a 15-4 lead just over midway through the opening quarter. Consecutive jumpers from Tristen Washington and Erin Harris pulled the Lady Demons back within seven moments later, but two misses in the final minute allowed UTSA to push the lead back to 10 by the end of the quarter.
Down 26-15 three and a half minutes into the second the Lady Demons scored on three straight possessions, trying to push the deficit below 10 for the first time since the first. UTSA was equal to the task matching each shot to keep NSU at arm’s length and eventually extending their lead to 15 at 36-21 with 3:49 left in the half.
The Lady Demons had spurts of offense throughout the second half, but never enough to break into the double-digit deficit they faced.
A 3-pointer from Erin Harris and a jumper from Dussette on the next possession provided a quick burst midway through the third, but missed free throws, turnovers and fouls squashed any further advancement on the next three possessions.
NSU finished the third with five straight points including a pair of layups from Dussette and Osha Cummings, but that would be the final big push in the game.
Washington set a new career high with 15 points and led the team with three helpers while Harris reached double figures for the first time in her freshman campaign with 11. Dussette added 11 in her first start for the Lady Demons.
“As long as we’re seeing growth, that’s something we’ve got to stay focused on,” Nimz said. “Not just as a program but for me as well. It’s easy to get frustrated with loses but we’ve got to be able to pull positives from every situation.
“This is going to be a process and I can’t talk about it and preach it if I don’t genuinely believe it when I’m frustrated. There were positives tonight just like there were with ULM, although this was a little bit uglier tonight, there’s going to be tings that we can teach from.”