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Demons to compete in 45th Pepsi Blue & Gold Classic

By Kristi George
On November 30, 2006

  • Colby Bargeman led the Demons in scoring thus far this season, averaging 14.8 points a game. Gary Hardamon/NSU Media Services

While students prepare for finals, the NSU Demon basketball is preparing for a test when they face off against undefeated Marquette University Friday in the 45th annual Pepsi Blue & Gold Classic. The Demons will travel to Milwaukee, Wis., to face No. 9 ranked Marquette. The Golden Eagles are 7-0, including an impressive win over ACC powerhouse Duke University on Nov 21.

Junior forward Colby Bargeman led the Demons in scoring, averaging 14.8 points during the past two games.

"The only real thing I did was come into those games ready to play and the rest was because of the team. They are the ones that passed me the ball, and when I got the ball, I scored. It could have been any one of them scoring the most; it just happened to be me in those games. It can be anybody's night on our team," Bargeman said.

Senior guard Luke Rogers is the second leading scorer, averaging 13.8 points a game. Rogers said he still needs to improve and the team as a whole needs to become " hungrier for victory."

Rogers said the team is not nervous about the match up with Marquette, but more excited because the Demons have nothing to lose.

NSU will have their hands full with Marquette guard, Dominic James, who scored Marquette's final 18 points, including a three-pointer with three seconds left in the game to beat Valparaiso 65-62 Monday.

Rogers said, "I hear Marquette has a great guard, but you know what, I heard Northwestern State has better guards. It's going to be a team effort and an honor to beat Marquette on Friday."

Demon's coach Mike McConathy said, "We will have to bring our A+ game to compete with Marquette, but I believe if we rebound and defend we will have the opportunity to compete."

Junior forward Trey Gilder scored a career-high 25 points against Centenary, including two free throws with seconds left, helping NSU defeat Centenary, 89-86 extending the Demons home court winning streak to 17.

NSU's bench performed as sophomore guard Keithan Hancock had a career-best 11 points in 10 minutes of playing time. Junior forward Demetrius Bell scored seven points, two rebounds and a steal in 15 minutes.

McConathy said, " We are a team and we need some one different to step up each game to provide the impetus to get the job done. We feel like every player on our team is a contributor."

Bell, who also plays for the Demon football team, replaced forward Jerry Moody, who's out with an ankle injury. In a university press release McConathy said, "D-Bell might have been the key to the game. He hits all three of his shots and more important, with a 6-foot-6-inch, 285-pound frame, he really had a commanding presence inside offensively and defensively. Jerry Moody is a big impact player for us and to have him replaced like that was very important."

After the game against Marquette, the Demons will face either Princeton or North Dakota State Saturday, before returning home to host Southern University Tuesday.

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