The win also was the 572nd in the 30-year college coaching career of Demons' coach Mike McConathy, tying the men's state college record set in 30 seasons by Grambling legend Fred Hobdy. McConathy has 220 wins at Northwestern after 352 in 16 seasons at Bossier Parish Community College.
The record could fall Saturday afternoon in the Demons' home and regular-season finale, as Sam Houston State visits at 3 in Prather Coliseum on NSU's Basketball Centennial Celebration Day. Lettermen including the 100-man All-Century Team will be introduced during the game, and an awards winner will follow the game for basketball alumni.
The 20-win season is the Demons' third in nine years. The outcome salted away no worse than a second-place finish in the conference standings and assured NSU will open tournament play next Friday night in a semifinal at the Southland tourney in Katy, Texas.
Northwestern (20-8 overall, 14-3 in the Southland) got a game-high 17 points by Hulbin, who drained all six of his shots from the field, including a 3-pointer, and sank 4-of-5 at the free throw line. Davis hit 5-of-7 shots while leading NSU to a 32-23 halftime advantage and finished with 15 points.
The Demons prevailed despite playing for the second straight game without leading scorer DeQuan Hicks, and having one of their hottest players lately, senior Gary Roberson, also benched by an ankle injury. NSU shot 47 percent, made only 10 turnovers and outrebounded the Islanders (6-22, 5-12) by 38-29, with Hulbin, Marvin Frazier and Patrick Robinson sharing the team and game high with six.
A&M-Corpus Christi, which had a two-game win streak snapped, trailed for the game's final 31:35 after a Dadrian Harris 3-pointer provided the last of four lead changes and pushed NSU ahead 16-14. The Demons were up by as much as 12 in the first half but could not put away the Islanders, with a 16-point lead first at 3:03 left to play the biggest margin of the night.
"They're so tough to play. They grind the shot clock and do a great job of controlling tempo," said McConathy. "It wasn't an explosive night for us but I've got to credit Corpus Christi for a lot of that, not just with their defense but with the way they worked the shot clock offensively. They wiped out about a half-minute every possession."
The 66 points was the lowest output for the Demons in a league game against an opponent other than first-place Stephen F. Austin, which leads the nation in scoring defense. Saturday's game is the second half of a doubleheader starting at 1 with a women's game between NSU and Sam Houston.