Another slow start dooms Lady Demons in loss at Memphis

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MEMPHIS – The Northwestern State women’s basketball team had its second-best defensive performance of the season Wednesday night at Memphis.

Unfortunately, the Lady Demons paired it with their lowest offensive output of the season.

The homestanding Tigers took a 20-point lead into halftime and held serve in the second half, closing out a 54-38 win against Northwestern State, the Lady Demons’ third straight loss after a season-opening three-game win streak.

“Offensively, we struggled,” first-year head coach Jordan Dupuy said. “You have to give Memphis credit, but we have to execute better. There were things we practiced that we just did not execute. We have to make sure what we do in practice translates on the court. We’re not doing that at this point. After the last couple of games, we stressed defense, we stressed rebounding and we stressed toughness. We got that tonight, but we have to remember we have to put the ball in the basket.”

NSU (3-3) struggled in the first half, managing just 12 points, hitting 4 of 20 shots from the field as Memphis (3-4) built a 32-12 lead at the half.

In a sloppy first half that featured a combined 21 turnovers, Memphis built its lead by converting on those miscues. Nearly half of the Tigers’ output – 15 points – came as a result of 13 Lady Demons turnovers.

In the second half, the Lady Demons turned the ball over 14 more times but were able to slow Memphis down defensively.

Buoyed by a nine-point fourth quarter from Shahd Abboud, the Lady Demons outscored Memphis 17-11 in the final quarter and 26-22 in the second half.

“We always do well in the fourth quarter,” Dupuy said. “I told them we’ve got to have a fourth-quarter mentality for all four quarters. We have yet to do that this year. If we do that, we’ll see different results in the end.”

Beatrice Attura led Northwestern State with 10 points, her sixth double-figure scoring game to start the season. Abboud had all nine of her points in the final quarter. Freshman Victoria Miller, in her first career start, scored seven points and tied Attura with a team-high six rebounds.

Taylor Williams paced Memphis with 16 points while Cheyenne Creighton added 11 and a game-high nine rebounds.

After taking more than four minutes to score, Northwestern State managed just 12 first-half points. Attura’s 3-pointer late in the first quarter pulled NSU within three points before Memphis went on a 24-2 run that spanned the first two quarters.

The Lady Demons return to action Sunday when they host in state rival UL Monroe at 1 p.m. That game is the first of a two-game homestand in which both games take place on Sundays.

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