Junior guard Randi Brown scores a game-high 38 points to move into third place in UNO career scoring history
Thibodaux,La – Junior guard Randi Brown scored a game-high 38 points to move into third place in University of New Orleans career scoring history, but it was not enough as the Privateers closed out the regular season with a 79-69 loss to Southland Conference foe Nicholls on Saturday afternoon in Stopher Gym.
“You’ve got to give credit to Nicholls and their three seniors who played with a lot of heart,” said head coach Keeshawn Davenport.
“We didn’t do a good job of taking care of the ball. We had too many unforced turnovers (22 total) and they scored 24 points off those turnovers. We also lacked the inside presence needed to compliment Randi’s scoring.”
With the score knotted at 61-61 with 5:19 to play, Nicholls (10-19, 7-11) got back-to-back 3-pointers by Emani White and Tia Charles and the Colonel defense allowed just two field goals the rest of the game to earn a Senior Day victory. The Privateers conclude the regular season 14-14 overall and 9-9 in league action. Already locked into the No. 4 seed during the upcoming SLC Tournament, UNO will open postseason play on Friday, March 10, against the winner between fifth-seeded Texas A and M-Corpus Christi and the eight-seed Northwestern State at 11 a.m. in the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas.
Brown’s scoring output against the Colonels gives her 1,449 during her time on the Lakefront to date, moving her ahead of Jenny Anderson (1,441 points from 1996-99) and Le’Della English (1,444 points from 2004-08). Next on the list for UNO is Carvie Upshaw with 1,759 from 1985-89 while Sandra Hodge holds the top spot with2,824 from 1980-84.
As a team, the Privateers connected at a .456 clip from the field (26-of-57) and .813 from the free throw line (13-of-16). While UNO was 7-of-9 from the line in the final and game-deciding quarter, the Privateers shot just 3-of-12 in the stanza while Nicholls was 10-of-16, including a 3-of-4 showing from beyond the 3-point arc. For the game, Nicholls was 29-of-66 from the floor (.439) and 15-of-16 from the free throw line (.938).
Brown, who also led the team with three blocks and two steals, was the only Privateer to finish in double figures offensively as sophomore center Shania Woods, junior guard Kayla Mundy and freshman post Asia Woods were next with six points apiece. Shania Woods led all players with 11 rebounds while sophomore guard Danielle Wright handed out a team-best three assists.
Neither team could get much going early on as the two squads combined to hit just five of the first 16 shots of the contest and Nicholls led 8-2 with 4:11 to play in the first quarter. New Orleans got things going from there, ending the period on a 9-5 run and scoring 11 of the first 13 points of the second quarter to take a 22-15 advantage. The Colonels answered with a 13-6 run to tie the contest at 28-all and UNO closed out the half with a 6-4 rally to go into the locker room at the break on top, 34-32.
The Privateers appeared to take control of the game early in the third quarter as New Orleans ran out to a 46-33 advantage 3:27 into the stanza, but Nicholls refused to go away and used a 15-2 surge over the next 4:26 to tie things up at 48-all. UNO closed out the quarter with eight consecutive points only to see the Colonels open the final period on a 13-0 run to take a 61-58 lead they would not relinquish. New Orleans managed to tie the game at 61-all on a trio of Brown free throws with 5:19 to go before Nicholls’ game-deciding surge.
Following the White and Charles’ treys, the Colonels scored on each of their next six possessions which included a 6-for-6 performance from the free throw line.
White led six Colonels in double figures with 19 points, followed by Bree Wilson with 13, Tykeria Williams with 12, Charles with 11 and the duo of Cassidy Barrios and Hope Pawlowski with 10 each. Morrison paced Nicholls with eight rebounds and shared team-high steal honors with Charles at three apiece. Pawlowski handed out a game-high four assists.
“Today didn’t go the way we wanted but I think these ladies have come a long way and they worked very hard to put themselves in a good place and get a first round bye in the tournament.” Davenport continued, “Right now it’s all about UNO and we are just looking to go 1-0 on Friday.”
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