Nicholls overpowers Southeastern Louisiana, cruises to 87-67 win

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THIBODAUX, La. — Bolstered by star performances from a number of veterans, the Nicholls State University men’s basketball program (4-5, 2-1 SLC) composed the team’s most dominant display of the 2020-21 campaign, upending rival Southeastern Louisiana (2-9, 0-2 SLC) by a 20-point margin, 87-67, Saturday evening at Stopher Gym for a second consecutive Southland victory.

A relatively uneven start by both squads quickly spiraled out of control for the Lions around the five-minute mark in first half, as the Colonels suddenly exploded for a 16-2 run en route to a double-digit lead they would never surrender. Despite breaking for halftime, the Red & Gray managed to resume their command over the hardwood with increasingly emphatic theatrics, growing their advantage as large as 27 points behind a slew of rim-shaking throw downs and bench-clearing dunks.

KEY STORYLINES & STATISTICS
-- For the game, Nicholls finished shooting 54.0 percent (34-of-63) from the field, 28.6 percent (6-of-21) at the three-point line and 81.3 percent (13-of-16) at the charity stripe.
-- The redshirt junior dynamic duo of Ty Gordon and Najee Garvin continued to showcase why they rank first and second on the Colonels' season stats sheet, as the pair each dropped a team-high 17 points in the victory. Notably, the former dished out a squad-best five assists while the latter scored the equal accomplishment on the glass, pulling down eight boards for the night.
-- In near-ironic fashion, Garvin managed to, once again, come up just short of the program's first double-double of the year; thus far, the South Carolina native has been either one or two rebounds short of the accolade on four separate occasions across nine total games.
-- Red & Gray veterans Kevin Johnson and Andre Jones also registered strong double-digit performances, tallying 15 and 10 points, respectively, while notching a combined five assists.
-- Senior Ryghe Lyons proved a nightmare for SLU around the basket as the 6-11 rim protector racked up four blocks for the evening, a season-high. The Slidell native also contributed nine points, four boards and two steals.
-- The Colonels finally rounded out their active roster as freshman Taylor Blanchard notched his collegiate debut, picking up some playing time in the final minute of the blowout.
-- Meanwhile, sophomore Tyrease Terrell scored his first points of the year, drilling a free throw late in the game.

UP NEXT
With the three-game home stand concluded, the Red & Gray must shift focus to an equally-long trio of contests on the road, initially trekking to Northwestern State for a midweek matchup on Wednesday, Jan. 13 before heading to Central Arkansas and HBU, in succession.

The Lions will return home to face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3-6, 0-0 Southland) Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the University Center. SLU and A&M-Corpus Christi were scheduled to play Jan. 2 but the game was postponed due COVID-19 protocols with the Islanders’ program.

SLU 67 (2-9, 0-2 Southland)
Ifejeh 3-3, 2-4 8, Okafor 4-12, 4-5 14, Clergeot 7-16, 7-8 25, Smith 0-2, 0-0 0, Kasperzyk 2-11, 3-4 8, Caldwell 0-3, 2-2 2, Gonzalez 1-3, 0-0 3, Kemp 1-2, 0-0 2, Brackmann 0-1, 0-0 0, Romanov 0-3, 0-0 0, Warren 0-0, 0-2 0, Strange 0-1, 1-2 1, Howell 0-0, 0-0 0
Totals 18-57, 23-33 67.
Nicholls 00 (4-5, 2-1 Southland)
Garvin 6-9, 4-4 17, Lyons 4-8, 1-2 9, Gordon 6-15, 2-2 17, Johnson 7-9, 0-0 15, Jones 5-7, 0-0 10, Fornes 0-3, 2-2 2, Pollard 3-6, 0-2 6, Spencer 3-6, 1-4 7, Buford 0-0, 3-4 3, Sears 0-0, 0-0 0, Terrell 0-0, 1-2 1, Strander 0-0, 0-0 0, Blanchard 0-0, 0-0 0.
Totals 34-63, 13-16 87

Halftime – Nicholls 44, SLU 22. 3-point goals – SLU 8-25, (Clergeot 4-8, Okafor 2-6, Kasperzyk 1-3, Gonzalez 1-3, Smith 0-2, Caldwell 0-2, Kemp 0-1) Nicholls 6-21 (Gordon 3-9, Johnson 1-2, Spencer 1-4, Garvin 1-1, Jones 0-1, Fornes 0-2, Pollard 0-2). Technical Fouls SLU – Ifejeh, Kiefer. Nicholls – Claunch (Coach). Fouled Out – SLU None. Nicholls None. Rebounds – SLU 28, Nicholls 45 (SLU – Ifejeh 5), (Nicholls – Garvin 8). Assists – SLU 6, SHSU 13 (SLU – Kasperzyk 3), (Nicholls – Gordon 5). Total Fouls – SLU 17, Nicholls 27.

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