NSU Lady Demons fall to hot-shooting Jayhawks

Niaisya Ervin (right) dribbles around defender Ryan Cobbins (left) of Kansas.
Niaisya Ervin (right) dribbles around defender Ryan Cobbins (left) of Kansas.(Missy Minear, Kansas Athletics)
Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 10:31 PM CST
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LAWRENCE, Kansas – Northwestern State saw more moments of poised play on Wednesday night but fell victim to a ready-to-go Kansas team in an 88-46 loss.

“We competed hard all game,” head coach Anna Nimz said. “Unfortunately we started cold and they shot an incredible percentage from behind the arc. We played better in the second and answered the challenge out of halftime and were very good in the third. Had some great moments of execution and perseverance and although the score was lopsided, there was zero give up.”

The early 3-point shooting was exquisite on both sides of the court, with both teams shooting better than 65 percent from beyond the arc through the first 10 minutes of the game.

Jiselle Woodson knocked down the first of her three triples of the quarter just over a minute into the game. She went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc in the quarter, accounting for all of NSU’s deep shots in the period and all of its points.

As good as Woodson’s shooting was to start the game, unfortunately, Kansas was equal to it.

The Jayhawks made their first three shots from beyond the arc of the game, within the first two and a half minutes, and went on to convert 7-of-9 from deep in the quarter to sprint to the big first quarter lead.

They finished the night going 16-for-32 from deep, cooling off to make nine treys over the final three quarters after the seven in the first.

Woodson sparked the NSU offense in the first quarter and Niaisya Ervin provided the jolt in the second.

After knocking down her first shot as a Demon, appropriately enough a 3-pointer 43 seconds into the quarter, she poured in 10 points in the quarter with another three and a fast break layup immediately after a block to get there.

The second was the first of two consecutive quality quarters all around for the Demons, going 12-for-28 over the middle 20 minutes of the game and only trailing the soon-to-be-top 25 Jayhawks 42-31 during that time.

The Demons began to show their confidence in the third quarter and led Kansas 13-11 through the first six minutes of the half.

Carla Celaya scored her first points as a Demon on a perfectly executed back door, baseline cut taking the bounce pass from Ervin up for the layup, drawing the foul and making the free throw.

Three possessions later, Jordan Todd made a spin move to her left and finished cleanly at the rim with the same hand to score on the first of two straight possessions for the senior returning from injury. She led the Demons’ balanced scoring with six points in the quarter and went 3-for-4 from the field.

Kansas however outscored NSU 11-4 over the final four minutes of the quarter and the Demons struggled to find the hoop from the field in the fourth.

Ervin finished with 10 points off the bench to lead the Demon scoring with Woodson and Karmelah Dean each adding nine.

NSU will wrap up its week-long, season-opening road trip on Sunday afternoon at Tulsa.