Nicholls pulls away late for 68-62 victory against UTSA
THIBODAUX, La. — Freshman Kamra King’s three-point play tied the score at 49 midway through the second half, but Nicholls took control of the game with a late 16-2 run en route to a 68-62 victory against UTSA on Saturday at Stopher Gym.
King finished with a career-high 21 points to lead the Roadrunners (7-18, 3-9 SLC), while Louisiana native Judy Jones added 14.
However, Sumar Leslie scored a game-high 29 points to pace the Colonels (14-11, 7-5), who tied a single-season record for overall wins.
Nicholls got off to a hot start with a 9-2 run to open the game and pushed the advantage to 10, 16-6, with 14:55 on the clock. In all, the Colonels hit eight of their first 10 shots, including all four of their 3-pointers during the stretch.
UTSA began to chip away at the deficit after changing defenses to slow the Nicholls offense. After the quick start, the Colonels hit just two of their remaining 15 attempts in the half.
A jumper by junior Jalisa Montgomery with six minutes to play sliced the lead to three and it stayed at less than five for the rest of the half.
The Colonels were held without a field goal for the final 4:55 and baskets by junior Whitney Wright and senior Ashley Gardner tied the score at 30 at intermission.
Nicholls shot 40 percent in the frame, while UTSA connected on 46.2 percent (12-of-26) of its offerings.
Junior Cori Cooper gave the Roadrunners their first advantage of the contest with a layup on the opening possession of the second half. However, the lead was short lived after Leslie buried one of her four 3-pointers to set the stage for a back-and-forth second 20 minutes.
Three consecutive Roadrunners baskets erased a six-point deficit and tied the game at 46 with 9:36 to play. Leslie responded with a trey that was answered by King’s three-point play to tie the score for the final time.
Alisha Allen sparked the game-deciding run with a pair of baskets, while LiAnn McCarthy’s jumper capped the spurt for a 65-51 lead.
UTSA put together a frantic 11-3 run in the final 2:16, but the deficit proved to be too much and Leslie capped the six-point win with a pair of free throws.
The Roadrunners finished the contest shooting 49 percent (25-of-51) from the floor, while Nicholls connected at a 46.2-percent clip. UTSA also outrebounded the Colonels, 34-28, and scored 30 points in the paint.
UTSA will take to the hardwood again on Wednesday when it hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (8-16, 4-8 SLC) in a 7 p.m. matchup at the Convocation Center.