RUSTON - Freshman Raheem Appleby picked up a long rebound on the run and lofted a 24-foot leaning 3-pointer that banked in at the buzzer Tuesday night in double overtime, lifting Louisiana Tech over visiting Northwestern State 94-93.
The Bulldogs (4-4) had the chance to win after a flurry of missed free throws by the Demons (4-5), the last a pair off the mark with 13.5 seconds to go by James Hulbin. Louisiana Tech got off a pair of shots, and the second was slapped out toward midcourt near the Bulldogs bench, where Appleby snagged it and hurried up his game-winner, with game officials watching the replay to confirm the shot got out of his hands before the buzzer.
"We let it slip away. We didn't get the last rebound, and in games like this, you have to do that. A great basketball game in which we didn't finish, we missed way too many free throws, we missed some layups, and we took ill-advised shots," said NSU coach Mike McConathy. "We competed hard, and so did Louisiana Tech. They made just enough plays to make the difference.
"We didn't do a good job of game management at the end with a four-point lead. We'll hopefully learn from the experience," he said.
The Demons sank only 6 of 13 free throws in the two overtime periods, while the Bulldogs were 8 of 10. For the game, NSU shot just 54 percent at the line to 79 percent for Louisiana Tech. NSU sank 8 of its first 10 free throws, then only 11 of its last 25.
Appleby scored 17, one of five double-digit totals for the Bulldogs, led by Cordarius Johnson with 23 and Trevor Gaskins with 19.
Shamir Davis posted a career-best 28 points for the Demons, who got 15 from Louis Ellis, 13 by Demetrice Jacobs, 11 by Gary Roberson and 10 apiece from William Mosley and James Hulbin.
Mosley added 13 rebounds, 6 blocks and 3 steals.
The Demons had taken a 93-89 advantage on an offensive rebound and putback by Mosley with 58 seconds left. But NSU missed four free throws in the closing stretch to leave the door open for the Bulldogs to make the unlikely comeback.
Northwestern led 40-32 at halftime and owned the night's biggest advantage, 11, with the first basket of the second half, a 3-pointer by Roberson.
Louisiana Tech had the basketball with a chance to win at the end of regulation and in the first overtime, but NSU's defense answered the challenges.
Northwestern won't play again until next Thursday, Dec. 15 at Louisiana-Monroe. The Demons are at home next on Saturday, Dec. 17 against Missouri Valley.