NSU uses two big quarters to get season-opening win

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State used a pair of dominant quarters to run away with a 91-61 win against LeTourneau on opening night of the 2019-20 season.

The Lady Demons (1-0) outscored the Yellow Jackets 58-22 in the first and third quarters of the game, using an 11-0 run in the first and a 13-2 stretch in the third to complete the 30-point rout.

“We did a lot of good things but we left a lot of points off the board,” fourth-year coach Jordan Dupuy said. “We’re still happy with the victory but know that there’s a lot of things that we can improve on pretty quickly and we can do that for Friday.”

NSU started the season hot, jumping out to a 13-2 lead in less than five minutes of game time. A pair of three-balls from Karyn Ford and Jasmyn Johnson book ended the 11-0 first quarter run that pushed the lead to 24-7 with 2:49 remaining in the opening quarter.

The Lady Demons scored six unanswered points to end the first and took a commanding 30-14 lead into the first break.

The explosive offense fell flat in the second quarter allowing LeTourneau to almost erase the big lead. NSU went 0-for-2 from the field with eight turnovers through the first six plus minutes of the quarter that made it a 34-29 game with 3:48 left in the half. Six more unanswered points to finish the second made the lead slightly more comfortable for the home team at 46-33 after the first 20 minutes.

The longer half time break did the Lady Demons good as they regained their first quarter swagger to reassert their dominance. A Lacee Savage layup sparked the 13-2 run to start the second half that swelled the lead to 24 just over four minutes into the third.

Seven straight points from Kalen Green later in the quarter and a bucket and a foul from Anessa Dussette gave NSU its largest lead of the night at the end of the third at 74-41.

LeTourneau outscored NSU in the fourth quarter 20-17, but thanks to the work done in the third, the game was not in jeopardy. A pair of late threes from Dussette and Tristen Washington cemented the big win for the Lady Demons.

“We came out and hit them hard in the first and the third,” Dupuy said. “I asked them what the issue was with the second and fourth and they said fatigue.

“We’ve got to make sure we develop that mentality in practice to be able to fight through fatigue. We’re going to play everybody. A lot of players that had a lot of minutes last year are going to shrink this year but they were way more efficient in those minutes.”

Savage produced the most efficient minutes scoring a career-best 18 points in 19 minutes of work, adding a team-high seven rebounds. Johnson had a perfect shooting night going 5-for-5 from the field and 3-for-3 from the line for 14 points. Two other Lady Demons reached double figures in the game and five others scored their first points in an NSU jersey.

NSU hosts Central Baptist on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the second of three straight home games to start the season.