Senior guard Shamir Davis hit all five of his 3-point shots while scoring a season-high 24 points Saturday, leading a blistering shooting performance by Northwestern State in a 103-68 rout of Southeastern Louisiana that was the Demons' biggest winning margin in 26 seasons of Southland Conference basketball.
Fifteen Demons played, with all but two getting at least six minutes, and Davis's 21 minutes were the most for any NSU player in a remarkable bounce-back from a miserable 93-78 home loss Thursday night to Nicholls. In that game, Northwestern shot 21 percent in the first half, missed 20 layups and nearly doubled its season turnover average by making 23.
Saturday afternoon, NSU (11-6 overall, 5-2 in the Southland) had a complete turnaround. The Demons had a season-low eight turnovers while scoring the most points against an SLU team in coach Jim Yarbrough's eight seasons, and the most allowed by the Lions in 253 games, since the end of the 2004 season.
It was the fourth 100-point output this season for the Demons, who entered the game second nationally with an 83.9 average. The 103-point total matched the highest in coach Mike McConathy's 14 seasons in a Southland game, the most since NSU blew out McNeese 103-73 in the final regular-season game of 2004-05 to clinch a conference championship.
Northwestern missed its first seven shots but was nearly perfect for the rest of the first half. The Demons made 20 of their next 22 and 21 of their final 25 while roaring ahead 55-31. A 25-6 run over six minutes blew open the game, moving NSU ahead 40-16 with 5:42 showing. The Demons finished the first period shooting 66 percent overall including 8 of 10 on 3-pointers.
After opening the second half making one of their first 11 shots, the Demons sank 15 of their next 25 to extend the lead to 44 points with 4:26 remaining. The spread got to 30 with 14:12 left, and reached 40 with 10:06 left (83-43). Northwestern scored 97 of its points in 32 minutes.
NSU wound up at 54 percent shooting aim, including 55 percent on 3-pointers. NSU got 16 points by DeQuan Hicks, 15 points on a perfect shooting day (5-5 from the field including a trio of 3-pointers, and 2-2 on free throw) along with seven assists from freshman point guard Jalan West, 12 points by Gary Roberson and 10 from James Hulbin. Davis, West and Hulbin combined to sink 9 of 10 of their 3-point shots.
"Our guys played like they wanted to wipe out the memories of Thursday night, and we had some pretty special stretches out there today against a Southeastern team that came in playing well (having won three of its last four, with the lone loss Thursday 52-40 at league-leading Stephen F. Austin)," said McConathy. "Now we have to get ready to play a great defensive team next Saturday afternoon and hopefully we left something in the tank for that one."
The Demons don't play again until they take on SFA in Prather Coliseum next Saturday afternoon at 3.