WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Early drought dooms Colonels in 76-55 loss to Islanders

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Nicholls State University women’s basketball team went scoreless for eight minutes in the first quarter, allowing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to build a double-digit lead and the Colonels went on to drop a 76-55 decision Wednesday night in the Dugan Wellness Center.

Despite being down by double figures for most of the night, Nicholls (8-9, 3-3 SLC) clawed back to make it a 52-47 game with seven minutes remaining. The Colonels mounted second-half comebacks in each of their last two road games, but the Islanders (10-7, 3-3 SLC) put to rest the chance of a third straight with a 12-0 run en route to the 21-point victory.

Nicholls had trouble slowing down the Islander offense, which finished 52.7 percent from the field and 9 of 22 from 3-point range. For the second straight game, the Colonels were unable to contain the opposing team’s leading scorer as Brittany Mbamalu poured in a game-high 29 points and hit 6 of 12 from behind the arc.

The Colonels shot 38 percent from the field, helped by a 44 percent clip in the second half. Cassidy Barrios finished with a team-high 15 points and added four steals. Barrios hit a 3-pointer after a minute of play for the game’s first points, but the Colonels did not score again until the junior hit another one at the 1:11 mark, ending a 14-0 run by the Islanders.

The offense picked up for the Red and Gray in the second quarter, but they still trailed by 10 at the break, 30-20.

In the third, Nicholls tried to make a run, but the home team answered each time. Tykeria Williams (10 points) knocked down one of her two 3-pointers on the night to cut the deficit to 11, but Mbamalu came right back and sank one from deep. Destiny Collins, who had nine points off the bench, followed with an old-fashioned three-point play before the Islanders hit two 3-balls on their next two possessions.

Nicholls made one last run in the fourth after back-to-back three-point plays. Marina Lilly (11 points) had a basket-and-one, and following a steal by Tia Charles, Williams sank a 3-pointer to make the count 52-47. The Colonels then turned the ball over twice and missed two shots inside before the Islanders pushed their lead back to seven.

Williams’ 3-ball was the last bucket for the Colonels over a five-minute stretch, and the Islanders pulled away with the next 12 points.

UP NEXT

Nicholls will have the weekend off before returning home to host Lamar on Wednesday, Jan. 24. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at NichollsTickets.com or by calling the Nicholls Athletics Ticket Office at 985-448-4790.

For the latest news on Colonel women’s basketball, follow the team on Twitter @Nicholls_WBB.

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