Northwestern State Tops Incarnate Word at the Buzzer
Jalan West scored a team-high 33 points on Saturday, but freshman DeVonte Hall scored a buzzer-beating lay-up to send the Demons to a 103 - 101 win over Incarnate Word. (Source: NSU Photo Lab)

When people talk about offensively strong teams, names like Northwestern State and Incarnate Word don’t jump out right off the top. However, they are the home of two offensively-gifted programs and some of the top scorers in the nation.

Northwestern State is home to one of the nation’s top scorers, in Zeek Woodley, and Incarnate Word is home to one of the nation’s top scoring offenses.

Offense was on full display on Saturday, as Northwestern State fought back in the second half and came away with the 103 – 101 victory over the Cardinals on the Demons’ home floor.

Apparently, defense in this game was optional.

Through the first five minutes of the game, the Cardinals were able to open up a six point lead, capped off by a Denzel Livingston three pointer and a Kyle Hittle lay-up.

Thanks to back-to-back three pointers from Tra’von Joseph and Tony Dobbinson, the Demons were able to claw back and knot the game up at 19 – all.

Zeek Woodley would start to get rolling on the offensive end for the Demon. He would record three points off a dunk and a costless throw, then add a three-pointer at the 3:11 mark to give the Demons the largest lead of the game so far, at 7 points.

Jalan West would make a three-pointer of his own to extend the lead to 10 for the Demons. Thanks to six points from Denzel Livingston, the Cardinals were able to trim the lead to six points at half time.

After the first 20 minutes of action, Northwestern State took a 49 – 43 lead into the break in what was an offense-filled first half.

As the second half opened up, the lead would hover around the 6 point mark. Whenever the Demons looked like they would pull away, the Cardinals always had an answer of their own on the offensive end.

The Cardinals would keep chipping away at the lead, and a Jontrell Walker lay-up at the 15:33 mark gave the Cardinals a 56 – 55 advantage.

The Demons would then go on a 9 – 2 run to quickly take the lead back, at 64 – 58. Jalan West scored 6 of the points, with Woodley adding in the other 3.

As the second half would progress, the teams would trade the lead on several occasions. Back-t0-back three pointers for the Cardinals, one from Mitchell Badillo and one from Kyle Hittle, would give the Cardinals a 3 point lead.

Northwestern State would fight their way back, and basketball fans were in for a dog fight down the stretch. Neither of the teams could gain any separation from the other, and the game was only going to get better from there on out.

A Shawn Johnson three-pointer gave the Cardinals a 6-point lead with just over two minutes to play. Game over, right? Wrong.

Cue the Jalan West show.

With the game sitting at 95 – 89 in favour of the Cardinals, Jalan West would single-handedly get the Demons back in the game and give the team a shot to escape with a win.

West would get the team to within 3 points, thanks to a lay-up and two costless throws, but Denzel Livingston would stretch the lead back to 5 with two costless throws of his own. Zeek Woodley would make a lay-up of his own, trimming the lead to 3 once again.

In the last 20 seconds, West would make six costless throws, while Livingston would make three costless throws of his own to know the game up at 101 – all.

That’s when DeVonte Hall would make his presence felt. Hall, equipped with fresh ice in his veins, would come out of a timeout and nail a jumper at the buzzer to send the Demons to the winner’s circle.

Northwestern State used a furious comeback in the last couple of minutes to knock off the Incarnate Word Cardinals, 103 – 101, on Saturday afternoon.

For Incarnate Word, five different players scored in double figures on Saturday. However, none were more impressive than Denzel Livingston, who scored a game-high 37 points in a losing effort. Shawn Johnson added in 18 points in 32 minutes of floor time off the bench.

For Northwestern State, Jalan West and Zeek Woodley led the way on the offensive end. West recorded a team-high 33 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 5 assists in the win. Woodley added in 28 points and 6 rebounds of his own to help the Demons to victory.

For the Cardinals (8 – 4, 0 – 2), they are left searching for answers after their second straight Southland Conference loss. They’ll look to end their slump in their next contest, when they head home to take on the New Orleans Privateers.

The Demons (7 – 7, 2 – 1) look to build off their impressive win over the Cardinals in their next outing. They welcome Abilene Christian to town for their next contest on Tuesday.