It’s the best conference win streak in six seasons for the Demons, 14-9 overall and tied for second in the 12-team conference with a 7-2 league record. NSU got 17 points and four assists from Louis Ellis, who hit 4-of-5 on 3-pointers, while Shamir Davis added 15 points with four assists, sinking 7 of 8 free throws.
Demons senior center William Mosley joined the Southland Conference career rebounding top 10 with his fourth of nine rebounds. Mosley has 1,036 boards for 10th in league history and is 12 away from passing Randy White of Louisiana Tech for ninth place.
While rejecting four shots, the 6-7 Mosley moved up one spot to 12th on the NCAA career blocked shots list with 430, passing 6-11 Calvin Booth of Penn State, who had 428 from 1994-99. Mosley needs seven to tie for 11th and 11 to break into the top 10.
Hulbin, who had scored only 24 points combined in the last five games, had half that many as NSU ran to a 46-35 halftime advantage, closing the half on an 8-1 burst in the final 2:07.
Gary Roberson hit a 3-pointer and a jump shot as the Demons scored the first seven points after halftime to go ahead 53-35. The Islanders (4-18, 3-7), despite 21 points apiece by Terence Jones and Chris Hawkins-Mast, never got closer than 11 afterward and lost their third in a row.
“We were the aggressor during that point of the game,” said 13th-year Demons’ coach Mike McConathy, whose team moved to 22-4 at home in the past two years as 1,523 watched at Prather Coliseum. “That’s the key to our team. When we come out and create tempo defensively, good things happen to us.”
Up by 19 with 4:19 to go, Northwestern ran the shot clock under 10 seconds on its remaining possessions before looking for the basket.
“Louis Ellis had a nice game and James Hulbin stepped up and drained some shots for us,” McConathy said. “O.J. Evans gave us a good matchup on Jones after halftime, and held him to six second-half points, which was a key contribution for us. Tyler Washington, Marvin Frazier and Gary Roberson went on their own personal mini-runs to spark us. We’re getting good contributions throughout our roster.”
Mosley’s latest milestones were typically understated, said McConathy.
“William made some great rebounds and outlets to get us running in the second half, and we got some good transition points. The beauty is that Will’s only interested in winning games and playing as hard as he can, not in all of these landmarks.”
The Demons outshot the Islanders 49-40 percent, raising NSU’s record to 12-0 when it outshoots the opposition and also when opponents score under 70.
Northwestern will be on the road twice next week, at Lamar on Wednesday night and visiting Southeastern Louisiana next Saturday night.
The next home game for the Demons is Monday night, Feb. 13 against East Division co-leader McNeese State.