Colonels drop 80-59 decision at Auburn in Preseason WNIT
AUBURN, Ala. – For the second time in as many games, a slow start by the Nicholls State University women’s basketball team proved to be too much to overcome as the Colonels fell at Auburn, 80-59, in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT Friday night in Auburn Arena.
With the loss, Nicholls slipped to 0-2 and will head to the consolation bracket for its next two games in the WNIT. Auburn improved to 2-0 on the year and has won both matchups all-time against the Colonels.
After recording 16 double-doubles last season, senior Cassidy Barrios notched her first of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Destiny Collins joined her in double figures with 13 points, and Kinzie Heineman finished with nine.
Auburn’s press defense dictated the game as the Tigers totaled 29 points off of 24 Colonel turnovers. The Tigers also outshot Nicholls from the field, 45 to 38 percent, and had a plus-14 advantage in rebounds.
“First of all, we were very much undersized, and we were playing without our point guard,” said Nicholls head coach DoBee Plaisance. “I just felt like as a whole we kept battling, as a whole we didn’t go away. We had our runs and playing with a very young team. All we are going to do is we are going to grow as youngsters – not physically, we’re going to be short all year. In terms of the turnover battle, we are definitely going to get better with that. I liked our execution on defense and I liked how we matched up with their sets. We did some nice things.”
Auburn jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes, and after a 3-pointer by Collins put Nicholls on the board, the Tigers answered with another 9-0 run.
In the second quarter, Nicholls fell behind 33-17 before going on its own a 9-0 spurt. Barrios and Heineman each knocked down a 3-pointer, and the Colonels made three free throws while holding Auburn scoreless for over four minutes. The Tigers answered with the final four points of the half for a 37-26 lead at the break.
Nicholls turned the ball over eight times in the third, which helped Auburn to a 13-2 run to start the quarter. The Tigers controlled the rest of the game and led by as much as 29 before securing the opening-round WNIT victory.
Nicholls made nine 3-pointers at a 38 percent clip, led by a 3-for-5 showing by Heineman. Barrios and Collins made two each, and Airi Hamilton and Adrian Mann both connected on one.
Auburn was led on offense by Daisa Alexander, who matched Barrios for a game-high 20 points. Emair Jones chipped in with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Nicholls will play in the consolation bracket in the WNIT, with its opponents and location to be announced following the completion of the first-round games.
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