Nicholls hits three with 4.2 seconds remaining to spoil UNO Homecoming, 64-63
NEW ORLEANS – Scott Plaisance Jr. posted his first career double-double with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting, 11 rebounds, and three blocked shots, but Nicholls State University (11-12, 4-6 Southland) hit a game-winner with 4.2 seconds remaining to defeat the University of New Orleans (13-10, 8-4 Southland) 64-63 Saturday afternoon at Lakefront Arena.
Plaisance Jr. and the Privateers defended the interior as the Colonels struggled inside, but NSU went 12-of-25 from long distance. Entering the weekend as the league’s leading defenders on the perimeter, the Colonels hit half of their shots from beyond-the-arc.
Gerrale Gates finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and two assists and Ezekiel Charles added 14 points, eight rebounds, and two assists. Damion Rosser recorded five points, five rebounds, five assists, and two blocks.
The seniors were honored pregame and they returned the ovation minutes into the game, combining for three blocks (two by Plaisance Jr. and one by Charles) before the first media.
At the under-12, UNO led 9-5 behind Plaisance Jr’s four points, three boards, three blocks and a steal and the defense held the Colonels to 15.4 percent shooting.
Nicholls caught fire from three-point range and finished the half 7-of-13 from long distance. Jeremiah Jefferson led all players with nine points – all from three-point range – and Kevin Johnson added five assists and four steals.
For UNO, Plaisance Jr. was the leader with eight points, five rebounds and three blocks. Bryson Robinson added seven points. The Privateers were down by as much as 12 but chipped away late to make it 32-25 Nicholls at the break.
A 9-2 UNO run put the Privateers back in front as defense led to easy bucks. Rosser swiped two passes and found Gates for an open basket and followed with an oop to Plaisance Jr. to give the Privateers a 40-39 lead with 13:36 remaining.
The defense continued to swarm as the teams traded points and Gates’ pair from the line knotted the game at 49 with nine minutes to go. Seconds later, Plaisance Jr.’s split at the line regained the lead for the Blue and Silver.
With 4:27 remaining, Plaisance Jr. pulled down his 10th rebound and finished with an emphatic dunk for his first double-double in a Privateer uniform. The slam extended the UNO lead to seven – the largest lead of the game for New Orleans.
Nicholls cut it to a one-possession game twice, but a Jefferson trey with just over a minute left in regulation put the Colonels on the right side of a 61-60 ballgame.
Honored before the game, Plaisance Jr. came up big again, with a tip-in as UNO took a one-point lead with 16.2 ticks remaining. Rosser pulled down a key rebound and was fouled to extend the lead to two for the Privateers.
With 4.2 ticks, Danny Garrick connected on his fourth three to give the Colonels a 64-63 edge.
The Privateers will have their first bye Wednesday before hosting Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Saturday at 4:15 p.m.
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