Gordon, newcomers cruise as Colonels claim opener over UC Davis

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Santa Clara, Calif. — Following an abrupt conclusion to the 2019-20 campaign along with a turbulent offseason, the Nicholls State University men’s basketball program (1-0, 0-0 SLC) authored an offensive clinic in the team’s season-opener against UC Davis (0-1, 0-0 Big West), outpacing the Aggies to kickoff the three-game Bronco Invitational by a 101-93 mark Wednesday evening at the Leavey Center.

The Colonels saw eight of the squad’s 11 newcomers make their debuts donning the Red & Gray — including three with starts — as they managed to rack up Nicholls’ first 100-point performance against a Division I opponent since knocking out Central Arkansas 100-57 late in the 2018-19 season. Notably, the 101-93 victory over UC Davis serves as the second season-opening win of the past four years in which the Colonels cracked the century mark, as the 2017-18 edition unloaded a 111-106 victory over UTRGV.

Individually, redshirt junior Ty Gordon led the way behind a 23-point, nine-assist performance in his debut for the Colonels, setting the tone as a trio of fellow newcomers — redshirt senior Jaylen Fornes along with redshirt junior Najee Garvin and Isaac Johnson — each dropped 18 points apiece as well. Senior Kevin Johnson, a three-year starter for the program, rounded out the double-digit scorers as he tacked on 11 points, four assists and a team-high five steals.

KEY STORYLINES & STATISTICS
— For the game, Nicholls finished shooting 49.2 percent (32-of-65) from the floor, 39.1 percent (9-of-23) at the three-point line and 82.4 percent (28-of-34) from the charity stripe.
— With the victory, the Colonels capture their sixth season-opening win of their past seven attempts, only faltering in last year’s early November roadtrip to Illinois (78-70, OT).
— Along with Gordon, Fornes, Garvin and Isaac Johnson, the Red & Gray also saw debuts from redshirt senior Damien Sears, senior Shawn Williams, junior AJ Rainey and freshman Pierce Spencer.
— In particular, Garvin posted an impressive performance down low, nearly notching a double-double as the forward pulled down a game-best nine boards to go along with his 18 points. Further, the 18-point showing fell just one short of tying the transfer’s all-time career-high on the scoreboard (vs. College of Charleston, 11/18/17).
— Notably, the Colonels managed to maintain a staple of last season, as the team swiped nine extra steals (11-to-2) while forcing seven additional turnovers (20-to-13) compared to the Aggies.
— On the glass, senior Ryghe Lyons lived up to his 6-11 build as he claimed six boards while Fornes grabbed five of his own as well.

UP NEXT
With the season opener out of the way, the Colonels shift focus to the remaining two contests at the Bronco Invitational: a Friday, Nov. 27 matchup against Idaho State before challenging host Santa Clara on Saturday, Nov. 28.

STAY SOCIAL
For more information on Colonels Men’s Basketball, follow the team on Twitter (@Nicholls_MBB), Instagram (@geauxcolonels) and like their Facebook page (Nicholls Athletics).

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