WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Colonels rally for road win at Northwestern State

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NATCHITOCHES, La. – With only a handful of games remaining on its Southland Conference schedule, the Nicholls State University women’s basketball team took a step forward in earning a spot in next month’s postseason tournament as the Colonels notched a comeback 72-65 win at Northwestern State Monday evening at Prather Coliseum.

Nicholls (8-12, 7-6 SLC) fell behind by nine points with just under five minutes remaining before outscoring Northwestern State, 18-2, the rest of the way. With the loss, the Lady Demons stayed winless on the season.

Chelsea Cain collected a double-double with a game-high 28 points to along with 10 rebounds, while Anna McKendree turned in a career day with 21 points, 17 rebounds, and was two steals shy of a triple-double with eight. Only five Colonels scored, including Terris McKay who finished with 12 points.

Trailing 63-54 with 4:45 to go, the game-deciding run started with four free throws for the Colonels. McKendree followed with a basket-and-one, then her eighth steal of the contest led to a pair of made freebies by Cain to even the score at 63.

Northwestern State’s Anessa Dussette ended the 9-0 run with a field goal, but McKendree answered immediately with a stepback 3-pointer for a 66-65 lead with 90 seconds left on the clock.

McKay kept the momentum going with a steal and a layup on the next possession. Northwestern State came up empty on its next try and was forced to foul the rest of the game.

Nicholls had trouble scoring in the first half, shooting only 23 percent, but grabbed 20 offensive rebounds out of a total of 33 opportunities. Despite the slow start offensively and four early 3-pointers by Northwestern State, the Colonels only trailed 35-28 at the break.

In the third quarter, the Red and Gray grabbed a 43-40 advantage with the help of 3-pointers by McKendree and Adrian Mann. The lead was short-lived, however, with NSU firing off a 12-0 spurt, aided by three of their own 3-balls. JaMiya Braxton accounted for most of the run by scoring half of her team-high 16 points.

Northwestern State stayed in front until the Colonels rallied for their second road win.

Nicholls shot 50 and 60 percent in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, and outrebounded NSU on the day, 57-36. The Colonels totaled 31 on the offensive end, with Cain and McKendree each grabbing eight.

Nicholls hosts HBU Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 5 p.m. The men will also take on the Huskies in the second game of the midweek doubleheader.

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