The Northwestern State women's basketball team, behind Keisha Lee's career-high 28 points, held off Houston Wednesday night to grab a 74-70 win in Prather Coliseum after controlling the game for all but 36 seconds in the contest.
"It's exciting. I'm just really happy for our players; they believe in themselves, and we try not to listen to a lot of outside talk," said co-head coach Brooke Stoehr. "We just talk about the process and giving your best every single day.
"We just try to keep telling them to do their job and get better everyday," she said. "I'm just really happy for our fans. They deserve this. This is a great basketball town and I'm just really proud for them to experience that."
NSU (2-0) surrendered the lead with eight minutes to go for the second half and it was the only time the Cougars (0-2) had the advantage.
After the go-ahead trey from Jessieka Palmer to put UH up by one, the Lady Demons strung together a nine-point run to grab the lead back at 65-59 with 3:44 to go in the contest. Houston would get no closer than three in the last few minutes.
During the run, UH was held scoreless for just over four minutes.
Lee started off the game with two straight 3-pointers before UH would score a point. The lead grew to 11 points by the 13:04 and 11:09 marks in the first half.
Lee had 21 points, two shy of her former career-high, at the half. She finished the game with seven rebounds, an assist, and five steals.
The 5-5 guard was 10-of-19 from the field and 4-of-7 from the 3-point line.
"Keisha has that attack mentality offensively," said Stoehr. "I'm so proud of her, and she kept us in it in that first half.
"When she's aggressive it makes us that much better, and she's doing it efficiently," said Stoehr. "She had five steals and only one turnover, and a bunch of rebounds for us down the stretch."
Trudy Armstead extended her streak double-figure scoring games to eight, and it was the 51st of her career. She also had seven rebounds.
Perez finished with 10 point and five assists.
Armstead was clutch down the stretch. After NSU gave up the lead, she scored six points and had four rebounds with a block.
Chelsea Rogers scored seven points and had four rebounds. She made possibly the biggest play of the game with 18 seconds left when she grabbed a rebound after a missed free throw and forced UH into a foul.
NSU was up four when she grabbed the board, but the lead jumped to six when she landed both of her free throws.
Northwestern State protected the ball well giving up only seven turnovers, but forced UH into 17 and had 11 steals.
"We valued the basketball. If we can value the basketball the way we did tonight, we're going give ourselves a chance every night," said Stoehr.
The Cougars outrebounded NSU 54-40, but the Lady Demons still had more second-chance points (24-19).
Northwestern State was held to 36-percent from the field, but made up the difference at the line when it shot 62-percent. Houston was 40-percent and 52-percent, respectively.
Jessieka Palmer was the high-scorer for UH with 16 points. She finished just ahead of Tyler Gilbert with 15 and Alexia Sanders with 11.
Gilbert scored a double-double with 10 boards.
The Lady Demons will be off for eight days before traveling to Waco, Texas to participate in the "Athletes in Action Classic" on Nov. 22. They will face Texas-San Antonio, Baylor, and Savannah State.