NATCHITOCHES -- While UL Monroe bounced back from a frustrating road loss Friday night, Northwestern State looked nothing like the team that battled from 10 down for an overtime victory in its last outing.
The Warhawks were bombs away from the outset, sinking 10 of 16 on 3-pointers in the first half and tapering off only slightly afterward in an 80-52 romp past the Demons Tuesday night in Prather Coliseum.
NSU coach Mike McConathy was perplexed at his team’s performance. Other than guards LaTerrance Reed (14 points on 5-9 shooting, 2-4 on 3s) and DeAndre Love (10 points on 4-9 aim, 2-4 on 3s), the Demons sank only 10 of 46 (22 percent) including 2 of 20 from behind the 3-point arc.
Entering the night, NSU was sinking 40 percent overall and 31 percent on 3s, the latter figure downgraded by a 4-of-24 outing in Friday night’s 70-66 overtime victory over Alabama A&M.
McConathy never saw a blowout coming against a ULM club that NSU had handled in each of the past two seasons.
“That’s not the same team I’ve seen in our other games (this year), and that’s what’s frustrating. ULM is an excellent team, is very well coached, and has really good pieces, but I don’t think it should have been that type of game.
“We’ve got to do what we do well, and we didn’t do anything well tonight. My hat’s off to (ULM), they came in here and took it to us, just did an excellent job,” said McConathy.
ULM (3-3) shot 63 percent, including 6 of 10 on 3-pointers, in the first 12 minutes while NSU (2-5) sank just 19 percent (4-21) overall including 1 of 8 on 3s.
Wichita State transfer Daishon Smith, a senior guard, poured in 26 points, draining 8 of 13 behind the arc. He had 17 by halftime as the Warhawks opened a 44-26 lead.
“Defensively we just didn’t compete, do the things we were capable of, and we didn’t take advantage of the size differential to get the ball inside and get some buckets. We seemed tentative, and didn’t seem capable of doing the things we’ve been doing against upper level opponents,” said McConathy.
The Demons got only 12 points off the bench as their wave substitution pattern was ineffective. NSU finished with 30 percent shooting aim including 21 percent (6-28) on 3s.
NSU heads west for games Saturday at Texas-El Paso and Monday at Texas A&M. The Demons then take a break before a Dec. 12 visit to Texas Tech, then a Dec. 15 matchup with Southern in the Shreveport-Bossier Holiday Classic and a Dec. 18 home date with Louisiana College.