Peters scores 30, lifts first-place Nicholls to road win at Central Arkansas

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CONWAY, Ark. – Roddy Peters scored 30 points including seven in the final minute as the Nicholls State University men’s basketball team clinched a postseason berth and remained in first place with an 87-83 win over Central Arkansas on Saturday evening in the Farris Center.

Nicholls stands alone on top of the standings at 12-2 in the Southland Conference and 18-9 overall. With the loss, Central Arkansas slipped to 13-14 and 7-7 after being swept in the season series by the Colonels.

The game featured the league’s top two scorers, and neither disappointed. UCA’s Jordan Howard scored a game-high 37 points, highlighted by a go-ahead jumper for an 81-80 lead with 1:48 remaining. But Peters took over, starting with a layup with 53 seconds on the clock. Kimani Jackson picked up his second-straight defensive rebound, and it led to a pair of free throws for Peters.

With Nicholls leading by three with 20 seconds to go, Peters stole the ball and went down the court for an emphatic slam to ice the game. He added one more free throw in the last seconds before a late bucket by Howard made the final.

Peters was 8 of 19 from the field, but in a tightly called game that featured 68 free throws, he capitalized at the line with a 14-for-16 night. Tevon Saddler joined him in double figures with 14 second-half points, Jahvaughn Powell poured in 19 with five 3-pointers, and Lafayette Rutledge sank three treys and scored 11.

The game was even at 44 after 20 minutes of play, and Nicholls was hot from outside, making 7 of 11 from behind the arc. UCA was up 42-35 before the break, but Rutledge sparked the offense with three 3-pointers, with his last tying the game at 44.

Peters opened the second half with two quick buckets and Nicholls did not trail again until the final two minutes. Saddler was a big reason for the lead, making 5 of 10 from the field after the intermission. He gave Nicholls its largest lead with a basket-and-one to make the score 70-61 midway through the half. But UCA chipped away before eventually grabbing the lead with 1:50 remaining.

UP NEXT

The Colonels head to Lake Charles on Wednesday, Feb. 21 for a matchup against McNeese. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The final home game is slated for Saturday, Feb. 24 against New Orleans.

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