Northwestern State used a strong second half to take down visiting Oral Roberts 85-73 Thursday night in Southland-Conference play.
Northwestern State led 38-36 at halftime, but the Demons turned up the heat in the second half. NWSU opened the second on an 18-7 run to build a 56-43 lead at the 13-minute mark. ORU recovered from the rocky start to the second, but couldn't make a dent in the Demon's lead.
NWSU (15-6, 9-2) won this game in unconventional fashion with its bench outscoring its starters. The Demon's bench combined for 48 points while the starting five scored only 37 and had just one player reach double-figures. James Hulbin's 19 points off the bench led the way while Gary Roberson and DeQuan Hicks added 12 points each for the second unit. Shamir Davis' 14 points led the way for the NWSU starting five.
ORU (14-9, 9-2) was led by Damen Bell-Holter's 23 points and 14 rebounds. Shawn Glover also gave a strong performance for the Golden Eagles, scoring 28 points and grabbing six boards. Warren Niles' seven points was third-best on the team, while ORU's bench managed just six total points.
It was a particularly sloppy game, with the two teams combining for 48 turnovers and countless easy buckets. ORU shot 49 percent from the floor while NWSU managed just 45.6 percent, but the Demons drained eight 3-pointers to help the cause.
The loss ties the Golden Eagles and Demons for second place in the Southland Conference standings, one game behind Stephen F. Austin.