THIBODAUX, La. – Stevie Repichowski led five players in double figures with 22 points and Jahvaughn Powell scored 14 of his 16 points in the final six minutes, including 3-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime, as the Nicholls State University men’s basketball team avenged a loss against Central Arkansas just days later with a 96-89 win Thursday night in Stopher Gym.
With 6.6 seconds left at the end of regulation, and a 79-77 lead, Central Arkansas’ Jordan Howard, who leads the Southland in free throw percentage at over 90 percent, made 1 of 2 free throws to keep Nicholls alive. The Colonels rebounded Howard’s miss and Powell buried a 3-pointer from 25-feet out, dead center at the buzzer to send the crowd into a frenzy.
In the extra period, it was all Nicholls (12-14, 5-8 SLC) as a jumper by Johnathan Bell (15 points) at the four-minute mark gave the Colonels the lead for good. Powell hit consecutive 3-pointers to keep Nicholls on top and he went on to put the game away with six free throws in the final 30 seconds.
Coming off 35 combined 3-pointers in Saturday’s 106-83 win by UCA (8-19, 7-7 SLC), the teams made a total of 26 Thursday night, but this time, it was Nicholls with the better percentage finishing at 45.2. Repichowski nailed 6-of-9 from 3-point range as he finished with his career high in points and five other players made two each. Ja’Dante’ Frye and Liam Thomas scored 18 points each and Thomas was a rebound shy of a double-double and added six blocks.
Powell did record a double-double with a career high 13 assists, and the Colonels dished out 22 helpers on 31 made field goals. Bell had the second most for Nicholls, adding seven assists.
The Colonels led 36-33 at the break and after the teams made seven 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the second, Nicholls was still on top, 50-47, after a dunk by Thomas. Over the next 10 minutes, the lead changed hands four times and it wasn’t until the five-minute mark that UCA gained separation.
UCA took a three-point lead after two putbacks and Derreck Brooks, who had a team-high 25 points for the Bears, doubled the advantage at 79-73 with a 3-pointer with 1:41 to go.
Lafayette Rutledge answered with a 3-ball on the next possession and Thomas then made 1 of 2 at the line to cut the deficit to 79-77. On the Colonels’ next two possessions, Rutledge misfired on long 3s and they were forced to foul, sending Howard (22 points) to the line. Howard connected on the first for UCA but missed the second, and Frye quickly found Powell who dribbled up the middle of the court and launched the game-tying 3-pointer.
The win was the Colonels’ second in as many overtime games this season and improved their home record to 9-1.
Nicholls will look to avenge another road loss from earlier this year as they host Northwestern State Saturday night (Feb. 18) at 7 p.m.