Nicholls outworks SLU to notch fourth straight win

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HAMMOND, La. — Bolstered by yet another lockdown defensive outing, the Nicholls State University men’s basketball program (11-6, 5-1 Southland) concluded the team’s three-game road stretch with yet another major conquest, battling past rival Southeastern Louisiana (4-12, 1-4 Southland) by a 69-58 final mark at the University Center in Hammond, La.

Notably, the Red & Gray contained their third consecutive opponent under the 60-point plateau (52 at Lamar, 58 at Sam Houston State), not to mention fourth in conference play this season (58, vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi).

Individually, the Colonels were buoyed by a trio of significant performances as sophomore Warith Alatishe paved the way behind his fifth double-double of the season, racking up 14 points along with a career-high 16 rebounds. On the scoreboard, junior Kevin Johnson paced the squad behind 16 points — ties a season-best (at Pitt) — while redshirt senior Dexter McClanahan chalked up 14 points of his own.

KEY STORYLINES & STATISTICS
— For the game, Nicholls finished shooting 42.6 percent (23-of-54) overall, 32.0 percent (8-of-25) from long range and 83.3 percent (15-of-18) at the charity stripe.
— As a program, the 11-point win serves as the first in Hammond since March 2015, when the Colonels knocked off SLU by a close 75-69 margin.
— Further, Nicholls moves to a league best 5-1 record, good for the team’s best start since opening the 2017-18 season behind a 7-1 mark. Looking forward, the Red & Gray benefit from hosting their next three contests in the friendly confines of Stopher Gym, where they remain undefeated on the year.
— In what may act as the season’s top highlight for the Colonels, redshirt junior Andre Jones served up back-to-back dunks across the final 1:15 to erase any hope of a Lion comeback. The Arkansas native finished the night with nine points on just 21 total minutes due to early foul difficulties.
— Junior Jeremiah Buford continued his role in the starting lineup, making his third consecutive appearance as a member of the first five out. The Georgia native added nine points of his own on a 3-of-5 showing from beyond the arc.

NICHOLLS ST. 69, SOUTHEASTERN LA 58
NICHOLLS ST. (11-6,5-1 Southland)
Kevin Johnson 5-8 2-2 16; Dexter McClanahan 4-8 5-6 14; Warith Alatishe 7-12 0-0 14; Jeremiah Buford 3-5 0-0 9; Andre Jones 3-4 3-4 9; Elvis Harvey Jr. 1-8 3-4 5; Lorenzo McGhee 0-3 2-2 2; Ryghe Lyons 0-0 0-0 0; Brandon Moore Jr. 0-2 0-0 0; D’Angelo Hunter 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 23-54 15-18 69.
SOUTHEASTERN LA (4-12,1-4 Southland)
Diop, Pape 4-9 8-12 16; Julien, Von 4-6 5-7 14; Byron Smith 3-6 2-2 10; Brewer, Ty 3-14 1-2 8; Maxwell Starwood 2-3 1-1 5; Isiah Kirby 0-2 2-2 2; Caldwell, Nick 1-4 0-0 2; Maxim Romanov 0-1 1-2 1; Gonzalez, Brandon 0-0 0-0 0; LaQuan Butler 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 17-49 20-28 58.
Nicholls St………………….. 34 35 – 69
Southeastern La…………… 28 30 – 58
3-point goals–Nicholls St. 8-25 (Kevin Johnson 4-7; Jeremiah Buford 3-5; Dexter McClanahan 1-2; Elvis Harvey Jr. 0-5; Lorenzo McGhee 0-1; Brandon Moore Jr. 0-2; D’Angelo Hunter 0-2; Andre Jones 0-1), Southeastern La 4-17 (Byron Smith 2-4; Julien, Von 1-1; Brewer, Ty 1-6; Caldwell, Nick 0-2; Maxim Romanov 0-1; LaQuan Butler 0-1; Isiah Kirby 0-1; Diop, Pape 0-1). Fouled out–Nicholls St.-None, Southeastern La-None. Rebounds–Nicholls St. 40 (Warith Alatishe 16), Southeastern La 27 (Brewer, Ty 6). Assists–Nicholls St. 8 (D’Angelo Hunter 3), Southeastern La 9 (Julien, Von 3). Total fouls–Nicholls St. 23, Southeastern La 17. Technical fouls–Nicholls St.-None, Southeastern La-None. A-756

UP NEXT
With the three-game roadtrip concluded, the Colonels head back to Stopher for the first time since Jan. 2, hosting in-state foe Northwestern State on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.

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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