NSU (4-3) avenged a 72-66 loss 16 days earlier at UALR (2-5), which lost its fourth straight game. The Demons scored 22 points off turnovers, coming up with 12 steals, 5 by junior guard Demetrice Jacobs, who added 10 points and 5 rebounds. NSU swatted away 9 shots, 3 by William Mosley, holding UALR to 30 percent first half aim while opening a 42-26 advantage.
Hulbin drained 5 of 7 3-point shots, a career best, and added 2 blocks in 17 minutes off the bench. Louis Ellis sank 3 of 5 on 3s while posting 11 points and the Demons got 8 points apiece form Marvin Frazier, Gary Roberson and Shamir Davis.
Eric Lawton led UALR with 12 points, while Marlon Louzeiro and Will Neighbour each contributed 10.
A 15-3 run over six minutes carried the Demons ahead 34-20 and the Trojans never got closer than 12 afterward. The margin ballooned over 20 for the first time with 11:32 left on a Mosley basket, and was at 26 three times. NSU slowed things down offensively and failed to score in the game’s final four minutes, as the visitors scored the game’s last 10 points.
“We played 30 minutes of really solid basketball at both ends of the court,” said 13th-year Demons’ coach Mike McConathy. “UALR is in a tough stretch right now and we got after them to get control of the game. We defended aggressively, we worked the ball and got good shots offensively, and when we finally got to the free throw line we did a nice job (71 percent) there.”
UALR had 14 first-half free throws to only 4 for NSU, but the struggling Trojans made only half their tries. The Demons finished with season-best 22 of 31 free throw aim, and also hit 8 of 21 3-pointers, 38 percent.
“Louis Ellis is getting his stroke back and that’s good for us,” said McConathy. “James Hulbin has that kind of ability. You don’t expect him to make that many 3-pointers, but he is a fine shooter and it showed tonight.”
Hulbin bested his previous career high last year by two points.
Northwestern carries a two-game winning streak on the road to play nationally-ranked Missouri Friday night, beginning a string of three straight road games until a Dec. 17 homecourt outing against Missouri Valley.