Northwestern State’s McConathy nabs 300th career victory

Photo Courtesy Chris Reich -NSU Photographic Services

Five Northwestern State scorers reached double figures as the Demons topped the 100-point mark in Southland Conference for the first time in five years Sunday in a 106-79 win against Houston Baptist.

The Demons (5-8, 2-2 SLC) made 60 percent from the field and 10-of-20 from the 3-point line in an offensive showcase that totaled the most points since netting 110 against Central Arkansas on Feb. 3, 2015.

The 27-point conference win against HBU (1-11, 1-2 SLC) is NSU’s largest margin since topping Nicholls by 29 points on Jan. 26, 2015.

“It was awesome – 60 percent from the floor, and I hope we have some left for Wednesday night (at Incarnate Word),” said NSU coach Mike McConathy, who was honored at half court postgame for his 300th win as a Demon in his 21st season. “I thought the guys did a great job of moving the ball and attacking.

“Great effort on our kids’ part of competing and finishing the game.”

After the game, McConathy was surrounded by a coaching staff that’s been with him for most of his 21 NSU seasons to celebrate No. 300.

The staff has been with McConathy for its ninth total season (not consecutively), which is the third-longest tenured staff in the nation.

Assistant coaches Jeff Moore (14th season) and Jacob Spielbauer (13th season) have been by McConathy’s side each of those seasons, while assistant Dave Simmons is in second season back in Natchitoches after serving with McConathy from 1999-2006, McConathy’s first seasons as a Demon.

Simmons was the head coach at McNeese from 2006-2018.

“It’s awesome to be there with your team and have the ones that have been there with me as coaches,” said McConathy, who is already Louisiana’s winningest collegiate basketball coach with 652 wins (352 at Bossier Parish Community College). “(Simmons) started with me, Moore’s done a remarkable job in his 14 years and Spielbauer’s been with me a long time – and it’s great to be a part of that.

“It’s longevity, and I would have liked to have won a lot more, but I’m thankful for the ones we got and we’ll try to add on to those. I’m thankful for the players and the administration. I told (NSU director of athletics) Greg Burke that we’ve had some great years and some tough years, and I’m grateful to him for hiring me and grateful for him sticking with me.”

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