NATCHITOCHES, La. – The Nicholls State University men’s basketball team connected on six 3-pointers and shot 52 percent from the field in the first half at Northwestern State, but the Colonels were unable to hang on to a 13-point lead as they were handed an 86-81 setback Thursday night at Prather Coliseum.
The loss puts Nicholls at 9-8 overall, 2-2 in the Southland and extends its losing streak against Northwestern State (7-8, 1-3 SLC) to seven games. The Colonels also slip to 2-8 on the road this season, including a 0-2 mark in league play.
For the Colonels, Ja’Dante’ Frye scored 23 points and was a rebound shy of a double-double, Johnathan Bell had 17 points and Stevie Repichowski hit five 3-pointers for 17 points in his first career start. Nicholls made 6 of 10 from long range in the first half, but went ice cold in the second, making just 5 of 22.
NSU received a career night from Sabri Thompson, who scored 38 points and fueled the Demons’ second-half comeback. After trailing 52-43 with 15 minutes to go, Thompson scored 10 points of a 15-0 run by NSU that put the Demons on top.
The teams went back and forth for the rest of the half with the Colonels grabbing their last lead at the 1:56 mark when Frye’s basket-and-one made the score 76-75. NSU answered with a bucket to regain the lead and following a Colonel turnover, Devonte Hall drilled a 3-pointer for a four-point advantage with less than a minute remaining. The Demons then went on to make 6 of 6 at the charity stripe in the final 60 seconds to claim their first win in league play.
Nicholls finished with 17 assists on 27 made field goals, led by eight helpers from Jahvaughn Powell. Although the team shot 40 percent from the field, Fyre was 8 of 15 and Bell, who finished with four steals, made 7 of 14. The nation’s leader in blocked shots, Liam Thomas, swatted away six shots and had six points and eight rebounds.
Nicholls will wrap up the road trip with a Saturday (Jan. 14) matchup at Stephen F. Austin. The game is scheduled to tipoff at 6 p.m. and will stream live on ESPN3.
For the latest news on Nicholls men’s basketball, follow the team on Twitter @Nicholls_MBB.