NSU Lady Demons win both games at UTSA tournament - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

NSU Lady Demons win both games at UTSA tournament

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SAN ANTONIO, TX. (KALB News Channel 5) – Lady Demons defeat North Dakota State, New Mexico State at Texas-San Antonio Holiday Classic.

On Dec. 29, the Lady Demons won 57-70 in a game against North Dakota State. Chelsea Rogers drained a 3-pointer to knock the wind out of North Dakota State who had gained momentum after four straight, late turnovers by the Northwestern State women's basketball team. Northwestern State won both games at the Texas-San Antonio Holiday Classic. tournament after defeating New Mexico State 73-63 on Dec. 28.

NSU, 7-5, turned the ball over in four straight possessions with a 53-46 lead and 3:17 to play. After back-to-back layups from NDSU, 3-10, Rogers hit a 3-pointer to make it 56-50 with 1:06 to play.

After Rogers shot, the Bison went 0-4 to finish the game, all from behind the arc. Northwestern State got out to a slow start and trailed 10-2 by the 16:31 mark in the first half. Keisha Lee held Northwestern State together scoring the first 14 points for the Lady Demons.

"We always say this about Keisha all the time, she has that attack-mentality. It doesn't matter if the opponent is in man or zone, she has the same mentality," co-head coach Brooke Stoehr said. "We love her for that. We needed every bit of that mentality today."

Lee finished the contest with a game-high 22 points from seven makes on 12 attempts. She also had five rebounds, two assists and blocks. Five of her seven makes came during her 14-point stretch early in the game.

"I'm so proud of her confidence today," Stoehr said. "We moved her to the top of the key and put her in some different spots on the floor, and she was tremendous."

Trudy Armstead finished in double-figures, 13 points, for the second straight game after going on a three game straight games of two points or less.  She finished with nine rebounds for the second straight game.

"Trudy's energy on the boards was key too," Stoehr said. "She went and got rebound-after-rebound, and just kept us in the game because she was allowing them only one shot each possession." 

Both Lee and Armstead were named to the UTSA Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team. As a team, the Lady Demons shot 33 percent, 20-61, from the field and 46 percent, 6-13, from behind the arc.  Free throws were key in the game, the Lady Demons shot 78 percent, 11-14, which is 16 percent higher than their season average.

Northwestern State had two players with 10 or more rebounds. Kourtney Pennywell finished with a game-high 13 rebounds, and Chelsea Rogers finished behind her with 10 boards. 

"I told Trudy and Kourtney both that I didn't care if they miss every shot just keep going rebounding," Stoehr said.  "The more offensive rebounds you get, the more deflating it is to the other team.  Those two did a really good job of that."

As a team, Northwestern State outrebounded NDSU 48-37 for the game.

"We had 16 offensive rebounds and outrebounded them by 11," Stoehr said. "I felt like that was a huge, huge key.  I though if we could limit their second chance points and not allow them to get two and three possessions every time down the floor, we'd be just fine."

North Dakota State had three players in double-figure points: Holly Johnson, 13, Alisa Brown, 11, and Marena Whittle, 10.

Whittle and Miki Stephenson each had six rebounds for the Bison lead, and Kahla Becken had five. As a team, NDSU was 19-of-60, 32 percent, from the field and 6-of-20, 30 percent, from behind the arc. Northwestern State held the Bison to the lowest scoring total of their season.

"They have five players on the floor at all times that can shoot the basketball, and that makes them harder to defend," Stoehr said.  "I thought our players really locked in defensively. We've been on them about defending and rebounding, and we feel like today we came out there and did that."

The Lady Demon open Southland Conference play with a plus-two win margin in their record for the first time since 2008-09.  Northwestern State will play the first league game on Jan. 2 at 5:30 p.m. when it hosts Sam Houston.

"That's (7-5 record) a big deal to our players. They've played four 'big-six' conference schools in Arkansas, Texas, Baylor, and Houston," Stoehr said. "Throw in two Conference-USA schools, they've had a difficult schedule.

"For them to win seven non-conference games in year two of this building process makes me very proud of them," Stoehr said.  "We felt like if we could get to seven wins in the non-conference it would position us well. The exciting thing for us is that I still don't think we've played our best basketball.

The Lady Demons will face Lamar on at 1 p.m. on Jan. 4, for their second conference game of the season. The game will also be played at Prather Coliseum.

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