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Armstead, NSU survive late run from Nicholls - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Armstead, NSU survive late run from Nicholls

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Katy, TX -

Courtesy: NSU Athletics

Trudy Armstead and the Northwestern State women's basketball team did not let a wild 3-pointer from Nicholls deflate them, but instead the Lady Demons responded to finish the 69-65 win on a 6-0 run to advance to the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament Friday morning at the Merrell Center.

The Lady Demons will face the top seed in the tournament, Lamar, on Saturday at noon. NSU and Lamar split the season series, each winning on the opponent's court.

"First off I want to tip my hat to Nicholls. It was a great game, back-and-fourth pretty much the whole game until White hit that unbelievable shot as the shot clock goes down," said co-head coach Brooke Stoehr who coached her the women's basketball program to a tournament win and semifinal appearance for the first time since 2010.

Down one point with less than two minutes to play, Emani White threw up a frantic 3-pointer that fell through just after the shot clock expired to give Nicholls (17-14) a two-point lead. On the ensuing possession, Armstead drove the lane and was fouled by Jenny Nash. Armstead, a third-team All-Southland Conference pick, made one free throw to cut the Nicholls lead to 65-64.

Keisha Lee stripped the ball from Nash on the next possession that resulted in a wide open layup from Kourtney Pennywell on an assist from Armstead to take the lead 66-65. After a missed 3-pointer from White and a Lady Demon rebound, a timeout was called by Nicholls with 10 seconds left to play.

The Lady Demons executed their inbound play that resulted in Armstead going to the free throw line on a flagrant foul by Jasmine Scott. Armstead made both free throws to push the score to 68-65, and sealed the game on her next free throw after a foul on another NSU inbound from the sideline.

"I couldn't be more proud of my players," said Stoehr. "We didn't have a great first half but we came back and fought. We were just tough and when you have a shot like that hit on you it can be deflating.

"I thought our kids' body language was tremendous, and we executed. We've been through some tough circumstances, on and off the court, and I thought we handled it very, very well," she said. "Our kids executed down the stretch well together."

Armstead finished the game with the 14th double-double of her career on 19 points and 11 rebounds. Keisha Lee and Kourtney Pennywell each had 12 points and Chelsea Rogers had 10. Northwestern State shot 42 percent from the field and 47 percent from 3-point range.

Nicholls had two players who scored in double figures, White had 18 and KK Babin had 13. As a team, the Colonels shot 38 percent from the field and 16 percent (4-24) from 3-point range. In the first round against Oral Roberts, Nicholls hit 14 shots from behind the 3-point line.

"(Stopping the 3-pointer) was a huge part of our game plan. Emani White and KK Babin are extremely efficient from the 3-point line. We felt we had to a really good job of taking that away," said Stoehr. "I thought our guards really rotated and focused on personnel."

Both teams took care of the ball, Nicholls finished six turnovers to Northwestern State's eight. The Lady Demons had 14 assists, led by Janelle Perez who had six.

Northwestern State led by as many as 13 points in the game, and had a 63-53 lead with 5:42 to play in the game. Nicholls answered with a 12-point run capped by the wild 3-pointer from White.

Perez finished the game with seven points, Presley Owens had six points and three rounds, Beatrice Attura had two points, and Emily Spector had one.

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