|Updated: 11/29/2011 9:36 pm
||Published: 11/29/2011 9:31 pm
NATCHITOCHES, LA – James Hulbin scored 20 points off the bench to lead Northwestern State to an 80-65 victory over the UALR men’s basketball team (2-5) at Prather Coliseum on Tuesday night. NSU took control of the game with a 20-5 first-half run as UALR went 6:48 between field goals, and never looked back to improve to 4-3 on the year.
The Demons built a 42-26 lead at the break after UALR shot just 29.6 percent from the field with 12 turnovers over the first 20 minutes. UALR was unable to get any closer than 13 points in the second half, as the Demons closed out the game by outscoring the Trojans 18-to-9 at the foul line.
Hulbin was one of three Demons to score in double figures in the win, with Louis Ellis and Demetrice Jacobs adding 11 and 10 points, respectively. NSU totaled 12 steals and nine blocked shots on the night, and played to a +8 margin on the glass (39-to-31).
Junior Eric Lawton made his first career start for the Trojans against NSU and finished with a team-high 12 points off a 7-of-10 effort at the foul line. Junior Will Neighbour and senior Marlon Louzeiro added 10 points apiece in the loss, with all of Louzeiro’s 10 points coming in the second half.
UALR trailed by two near the midway point of the first half, 19-17, but endured a 6:48 drought between field goals which NSU used to build its lead to 17 points. A layup by Tramar Sutherland brought the Trojans within two points with 11:25 left in the half, but would mark the team’s last field goal until a bucket by senior Courtney Jackson with 4:37 to go.
Northwestern State followed up Sutherland’s layup with an 8-1 spurt as part of a 20-5 run to push its lead to 17 points, 39-22, with 1:51 remaining. NSU’s first-half lead reached as high as 19 points moments later, 42-23, off a three pointer by Louis Ellis. The Demons took a 42-26 lead into the locker room after shooting 48.6 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes, while holding the Trojans to a .296 clip. Northwestern State forced the Trojans into 12 turnovers and saw its bench outscore UALR’s reserves 20-to-4 in the half.
Louzeiro entered the starting lineup at the beginning of the second half, and gave the Trojans a spark by scoring eight of the team’s first 10 points out of the intermission. He cut UALR’s deficit to 14 points, 50-36, with a bucket in the paint at the 15:26 mark. UALR pulled within 13, 53-40, on a drive to the hoop by Lawton with 14:26 left in the game, but NSU answered with an 8-0 run to extend its lead to 21 points, 61-40, with 11:32 remaining.
UALR shot 50.0 percent from the field in the second half (14-of-28) and committed just four turnovers, but was unable to make a serious run at the Demons after falling behind by 21 points. The Trojans closed out the game with a 10-0 run, with the final four points from freshman Taggart Lockhart, to bring the game to its 80-65 conclusion.
UALR returns to action Sunday afternoon when it welcomes SMU to the Jack Stephens Center at 2 p.m.