Women’s Basketball: Colonels stay perfect at home with 86-64 win over UIW

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THIBODAUX, La. – The Nicholls State University women’s basketball team topped UIW on Saturday, 86-64, snapping a four-game skid in the series while staying undefeated at Stopher Gymnasium.

With the win, Nicholls (8-6) improved to 2-0 in the Southland for the first time since 2014. The loss dropped UIW to 1-12 and 1-1 in the SLC.

Junior Chrystal Ezechukwu scored 10 of her career-high 17 points in the opening half to lead Nicholls to a 33-27 advantage at the break, while Airi Hamilton (14) and Tykeria Williams each scored 12 following the intermission to fuel a 53-point half. Cassidy Barrios also scored a game-high 17 and added seven rebounds, six steals, four assists, and two blocks.

The Colonels shot over 50 percent for the third consecutive game, knocking down 51.6 percent from the field (32-of-62). UIW was limited to 36.7 percent shooting and turned the ball over 21 times, leading to 16 steals for Nicholls.

The defensive pressure by the Colonels in the third changed the game, helping Nicholls to a 12-2 run for a 49-34 lead. Back-to-back takeaways during the stretch resulted in a Williams’ 3-pointer and a layup by Hamilton. The Colonels tallied five steals in the quarter to extend their advantage to 55-45.

Nicholls all but put the game away with the first nine points in the fourth. Hamilton scored twice on layups and an Ezechukwu putback gave the Red and Gray a commanding 64-45 lead. Ezechukwu had six rebounds on the offensive end and totaled seven for the game.

UIW ended the drought with a field goal, but the Colonels responded with nine straight points again to cap an 18-2 run. The lead stayed over 20 points for the rest of the game.

Imani Robinson was the lone Cardinal to reach double figures, scoring 16 points on 6 of 15 from the field.

Nicholls will head to east Texas for its first Southland road game with a matchup against Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Tipoff is Nacogdoches is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the game will stream on ESPN3.

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