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Demons grounded in overtime by in-state rival Warhawks
by LaMar Gafford
Nov 23, 2013 | 402 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Northwestern State freshman guard Zikiteran Woodley swats a Jayon James shot during the Demons’ 84-80 loss to the ULM Warhawks Nov. 21. Photo by Gary Hardamon.
Northwestern State freshman guard Zikiteran Woodley swats a Jayon James shot during the Demons’ 84-80 loss to the ULM Warhawks Nov. 21. Photo by Gary Hardamon.
The Northwestern State Demons lost to the ULM Warhawks 84-80 Nov. 21 in overtime.

NSU (2-2) led by 18 points with 15 minutes left in regulation, but the Warhawks chipped away at the lead thanks to Amos Olatayo’s 30 points.

“Give [ULM] great credit for a comeback like that,” Demons head coach Mike McConathy said. “They ran their offense like clockwork and we opened the door with bad free throw shooting.”

The Demons shot 55.2 percent from the free-throw line and could not keep ULM’s torrid shooting at bay.

ULM (2-1) kicked things off with an early 8-2 lead as Jayon James made a layup, before the Demons made a mass substitution to create more energy on the floor.

As a result, NSU started to pressure the ball more and took advantage when Sabri Thompson’s 3-pointer was good, tying the game at 8-8 with 15:43 left in the first half.

With both teams struggling for control, the Demons seized the lead for good three minutes later following a dunk by Zikiteran Woodley.

ULM had trouble holding on to the ball in the first half, as the school 17 turnovers to just three assists.

NSU benefitted well off of those Warhawk miscues---holding a 20-0 edge off of turnovers before halftime.

The Demons’ lead would swell to eight until they settled for a 35-29 lead at the half.

NSU started the second half where the first half left off---on fire.

A 17-5 run pushed NSU’s lead to 52-34 and the team looked poised to go to 3-1.

However, Olatayo would erupt in the second half after not attempting a shot in the first.

He made 11-of-13 shots and played a key role in leading ULM back from the dead.

The Demons held a 63-50 lead with 8:26 left in the second half, but saw that wither away after Olatayo’s three cut the deficit to six with 7:16 left.

A Jalan West layup momentarily stopped the bleeding but the Warhawks kept rolling and got their first lead since the first half with James’ two consecutive free throws.

ULM led 72-67 with 2:08 left as they went cold at the line trying to put the game away.

A furious 7-2 run capped off by a Woodley layup with five seconds left sent the game to overtime.

Marvin Frazier scored to give NSU a lead with 4:36 left in the overtime period, but the Warhawks found an answer in fastbreak points by Olatayo and Tylor Ongwae to reclaim the lead with 2:05 left in the game.

Frazier made two free throws to tie the game at 78-78, but Olatayo would give the Warhawks another two-point lead with 32 seconds left.

Brison White had a chance to tie up the game at 80-80, but his shot hit iron and ULM came away with a win.

Olatayo scored 27 of his 30 points after halftime and Marvin Williams finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Five Demons scored in double-figures---including West’s team leading 18---but failed to match ULM down the stretch.

“What we did last week is history and hopefully this helps us realize that,” McConathy said. “ULM has a really good team, is extremely well coached and they earned this win. We did some really good things at times and at other times, some really bad things. Our effort was not the problem. We showed a lot of fight.”

NSU will face ULL in Lafayette Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.
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