Men’s basketball wishes to end losing streak against the Bears

The Nicholls State University men’s basketball team is expecting to change things in the Southland Conference play this Saturday, when they host the University of Central Arkansas at 3 p.m.

“I expect to see some wins and another strong finish to the season like last year,” J. P. Piper, head coach, said. “I will be a little disappointed if we don’t do a little better than how we were doing at the beginning of this season. So far we are healthy and we just finished, probably, the toughest part of our schedule.”

The Colonels (5-14, 1-4 SLC) faced an intense schedule during the 2015/16 pre-season games. Nicholls came out with a win against University of Arkansas at Monticello, Mobile University, Louisiana College and Loyola University.

“The schedule we play this year in the non-conference was ranked as the fifth most difficult in the nation,” Piper said. “We played a lot of good teams and we played them on the road, so a lot of the results has more to do with the level of the opponent than to us not being a good team.”

The team struggled on the road and has yet to come up with an away win this season. On the pre-season, Nicholls fell to Florida State University (62-109), University of Hawaii (74-99), University of New Mexico (63-75), San Diego State University (47-84), University of North Texas (60-78), Southern Methodist University (42-86), University of Colorado (68-85) and University of Houston (49-76).

“I think we are gaining experience and learning what it takes to win on the road. We came close to wining a few times and I think we will eventually break trough,” Piper said.

Nicholls is looking forward to put an end to the losing streak after three consecutive loses in the Southland Conference to Houston Baptist University, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi and Sam Houston University.

Piper said the players are excited to be home after being on the road for seven days.

“In our last game we looked really tired,” Piper said. “Having today off, resting up, getting to sleep in our own beds and being in familiar surroundings, plus the advantage of a having a good crowd will create good energy in the building.”

Despite the slow beginning in the conference play, the Colonels played competitive matches. The conference record include a win against Abilene Christian University (63-62) and three out of four loses by 11 points or less to Lamar University (67-79), Houston Baptist University (69-78), Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi (71-76) and Sam Houston University (76-87).

“I am expecting to improve from the last game, to come out really focused on getting this win so we can have a good record at home,” Johnathan Bell, guard, said.

The Colonels are counting on the support of the fans to fire up the players.

“I expected to have a better crowd than we usually do. We need Nicholls’ student body to come support us, and I think we need to get a win and have successful streak with a couple wins at home,” Luka Kamber, forward, said.

The Nicholls Athletic Department is promoting the 2016 Stuff Stopher event on Monday at 6:30 when the Colonels men’s basketball takes on Northwestern State University. The intention is to urge the students to come out wearing red to show their support for the Colonels.

“When we have great crowds, we almost never lose. It is a tremendous benefit for us to have as many students here as we can, making as much noise as they can,” Piper said.