WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Colonels drop road contest at Northwestern State, 58-54

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NATCHITOCHES, La. – The Nicholls State University women’s basketball team erased a nine-point deficit in the second half against Northwestern State, but the Colonels never regained the lead as they suffered a 58-54 loss Wednesday night in Prather Coliseum.

Nicholls (4-12, 1-6 SLC) tied the game with 6:24 remaining on a pair of free throws by Chrystal Ezeuchkwu, however, Northwestern State (5-11, 2-5 SLC) countered with the next six points. The Colonels were unable to get any closer than three points the rest of the way as they saw their four-game winning streak in the series come to an end.

Both teams struggled on the offensive end with the Colonels finishing at 33 percent from the field. NSU made only 30 percent overall but outshot Nicholls from behind the arc (4-14/1-14) and at the free-throw line (13-23/20-30).

After a high-scoring first quarter which put Nicholls ahead, 21-19, both offenses went stagnant in the second. The Colonels grabbed a 25-23 advantage on an Airi Hamilton layup at the 7:30 mark, but then went scoreless for the rest of the half. NSU did not convert any field goals during the stretch, but four free throws gave them a two-point edge at the break.

Early in the third, freshman Terris McKay got a steal and a layup to end the drought, but the Lady Demons answered again with a 9-0 spurt.

Nicholls climbed back and Tykeria Williams then canned a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter to bring the deficit to one, and Ezechuwkwu followed with her game-time free throws. But once again, NSU responded and grabbed the lead for good. The Lady Demons took control with a basket-and-one by Lacee Savage and then took advantage of one of the Colonels’ 22 turnovers for a steal and bucket by Kira Bonner.

Hamilton led the Colonels with 13 points and Ezechukwu added 11 off the bench. Bonner led all scorers with 19 points for the Lady Demons, and Leilani Moncrease totaled 18.

Nicholls returns home for an ESPN3 game against Central Arkansas on Saturday, Jan. 18. Tipoff in Stopher Gym is scheduled for 1 p.m.

For more information on Colonels Women’s Basketball, follow the team on Twitter (@Nicholls_WBB) and Instagram (@Nicholls_WBB)

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