Defense lifts Colonels to win at McNeese; Barrios reaches 1,000 points

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LAKE CHARLES, La. – The Nicholls State University women’s basketball team held McNeese to only four field goals in the second half as the Colonels came back from a 16-point deficit to pick up their third road win with a 61-54 victory Wednesday night in Burton Coliseum.

Nicholls (8-8, 3-2 SLC) went into the break down 15 points before the squad posted its second-straight second-half comeback. Sophomore Tykeria Williams led the way with a game-high 17 points, and Marina Lilly tacked on 12.

Cassidy Barrios scored all seven of her points after the half to notch 1,000 for her career. Barrios, a junior from Raceland, is the 15th Colonel in program history to reach the milestone.

A significant rebounding advantage allowed McNeese to go into the half with a 35-21 lead. The Cowgirls outrebounded Nicholls, 28-12, and had 11 second-chance points to zero for the Colonels. But despite a minus-22 rebounding margin for the game, the defense completely shut down McNeese in the final 20 minutes.

The Cowgirls shot just 27 percent for the game and made only 4 of 30 shots in the second half. Nicholls still trailed by double figures with less than five minutes to go in the third before ending the quarter on a run. Barrios scored her first points of the night on a layup after a steal by Williams, Lilly added a field goal and Bree Wilson and Destiny Collins each hit two free throws. The Colonels shot 76 percent at the line, connecting on 29 for the game.

In the fourth, Nicholls grabbed its first lead at 43-42 on a steal and layup by Barrios. After McNeese went up by one on a 3-pointer from Keara Hudnell, Barrios tied it up at 49 with five minutes to go. The free throw was her seventh point, putting her exactly at 1,000.

Another free throw gave Nicholls the lead, and Williams drained a pull-up jumper to make the score 52-49. McNeese added one from the line before Lilly had a basket-and-one with 1:57 on the clock. The rest of the game came down to free throws with Nicholls hitting 6-of-8 to seal the win.

For the Colonels, Tia Charles added nine points and had one of the Colonels’ 12 steals. Barrios led the team with four steals and eight rebounds, and Lilly and Williams had three steals each.

Jasmyn Carswell paced McNeese with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Three Cowgirls had double figures in rebounds, led by 13 from Mercedes Rogers.

UP NEXT

Nicholls returns home to welcome conference-leader Central Arkansas on Saturday, Jan. 13. The game will be part of a women’s/men’s doubleheader. The Colonels and Sugar Bears tipoff at 1 p.m. For tickets, visiting NichollsTickets.com or call the Nicholls Athletics Ticket Office at 985-448-4790.

For the latest news on Colonel women’s basketball, follow the team on Twitter @Nicholls_WBB.

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