Jalan West steals Southland Player of Week

NSU's stellar sophomore is top five in the nation in steals
NATCHITOCHES  - Surging to fifth nationally in steals per game after he led Northwestern State to a near-upset of 12th-ranked Baylor last week, sophomore point guard Jalan West has been named the Southland Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.

West averaged 20 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.5 steals as NSU dropped two hard-fought decisions at Baylor (91-84, overtime) and UTEP (84-74) in a 24-hour span last Wednesday and Thursday night. Those were the final two non-conference contests of the season for the Demons, who open Southland Conference competition at home Jan. 2 against Sam Houston State and Jan. 4 against Lamar.

West is averaging 3.0 steals. He is 41st in the country with his 5.4 assists average. The Demons rank sixth nationally with their 10.3 steals per game. West's team-best 17.8 scoring average helps NSU average 86.1 per game, 12th in this week's NCAA Division I statistics, topped by Oregon's 90.3 per game.

The 5-10 Bossier City-Bossier product shot 45 percent from the field and hit 5 of 13 on 3-pointers while extending his streak of made free throws to 20 in a row.

Among his game-high 26 points at Baylor, West drained a 3-pointer with 14.5 left in regulation to force overtime. He added eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals against the Bears. West became first Demon player in 15 seasons to play every minute of an overtime game.

NSU's 76 points against Baylor in regulation were more than the Bears allowed to Syracuse, Kentucky or Colorado. 

A night later, UTEP coach Tim Floyd sent the Miners into a box-and-1 defense and face-guarded him, but he still had a season-high five steals to go with 14 points and six rebounds. The Demons surrendered a 10-0 burst in the final three minutes before halftime to fall behind by 13, and got no closer than six points twice in the closing minutes last Thursday night.
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