Nicholls downs UTSA on Tuesday night, 79-73
THIBODAUX, La. — Devon Agusi scored a career-high 16 points, but Nicholls hit 10 3-pointers and shot 56.3 percent from the field en route to a 79-73 victory against UTSA on Tuesday night at Stopher Gym.
Agusi, who scored 10 consecutive points to start the second half, led five players in double figures and added four steals for the Roadrunners (1-5). Keon Lewis and Hyjii Thomas finished with 15 points apiece, while Phillip Jones and Jordan Sims added 11 and 10, respectively, as UTSA shot 48.8 percent from the field and hit 28 free throws in the contest.
Meanwhile, Dantrell Thomas led the Colonels (1-4), who never trailed, with a game-high 18 points and neared a triple-double with nine rebounds and nine assists. Jeremy Smith chipped in 15 points, while T.J. Carpenter and Amin Torres each finished with 11.
Nicholls shot 59.1 percent in the second half and 56.3 percent for the game, including a 10-for-23 (43.5 percent) effort at the 3-point line en route to its first win of the season.
The Colonels started fast against the UTSA zone with three 3-pointers from Carpenter and Nicholls hit six of its first seven shots for a 17-9 lead through the first six minutes of action.
Trailing 24-16 with 10:18 to play in the half, the Roadrunners scored nine of the next 12 points to pull to within a basket at 27-25.
Lewis started the stretch with three free throws before Jones connected from the charity stripe. Jones, who registered his first points as a Roadrunner in the contest, kept the momentum in UTSA’s favor with an offensive rebound and basket that was followed by a three-point play by Hyjii Thomas.
However, the Colonels rattled off a 10-2 run over the final three-and-a-half minutes of the first half to take a 37-27 lead into intermission.
Agusi opened the second half with 10 consecutive points for the Roadrunners, but the visitors only trimmed one point off their halftime deficit and trailed 46-37 with 15:45 to play.
Nicholls outscored UTSA 10-4 over the next four minutes for its largest lead of the contest, 56-41, before the Roadrunners began to whittle away at the deficit.
Lewis hit a pair of freebies to start a comeback attempt and Jones sank two more before Hyjii Thomas drove to the basket and finished with a one-handed slam to make it a 10-point game. After a Liam Thomas bucket, Hyjii Thomas drove in and converted a three-point play.
Once again, the Colonels regained a double-digit cushion and a 3-pointer from Luke Doyle gave the home squad a 70-59 lead with 4:42 to play.
The Roadrunners did not stop and put together one last effort to come from behind and take the win.
Hyjii Thomas and Lewis got things going in UTSA’s favor with back-to-back layups before Edrico McGregor dunked to trim the Nicholls advantage to 71-65 with 2:57 to play.
However, the Colonels answered once again, this time at the free-throw line, where they iced the game with eight points in the final minute-and-a-half to seal the win.
UTSA got as close as 77-72 after a pair of Lewis freebies, but it did not get another basket.
The Roadrunners will be back in action at 7 p.m. on Friday when they travel to Lubbock for a matchup at Texas Tech (4-2).