Photo by: Nicholls Athletics
Men’s basketball anticipates students’ return to campus
January 19, 2017
The Nicholls State University men’s basketball team played eight games during the Christmas holidays. The Colonels managed to win all four of their home games during the break, but failed to pick up a victory on the road.
“It’s a huge advantage to play at home when you have a great crowd, and when the students aren’t here it makes it tougher to win at home,” Richie Riley, the head coach of the Nicholls men’s basketball team, said.
“It’s challenging, so we just need to manage our time well and do what we need to do to win,” Nicholls forward Ja’Dante’ Frye said.
The first game following final exams resulted in a loss at Texas Tech University on December 14. Nicholls managed just 46 points against the Red Raiders, the lowest scoring game for the Colonels all season.
The Colonels followed the loss with four consecutive wins at home, taking down University of Mobile, Spring Hill College, University of Incarnate Word and Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi.
The string of wins catapulted Nicholls to a winning record of 9-6, but the Colonels were soon brought down by another round of on the road losses.
Nicholls closed out the break with three consecutive away game losses, falling to current Southland Conference runner-up Sam Houston State University, as well as Northwestern State University and Stephen F. Austin State University. The set of losses left the Colonels sitting at ninth out of 13 teams in the conference, with an overall record of 9-9 and a conference record of 2-3.
Now that school has started again, the challenge for the Colonels has become the transition back into classes and the balancing of schoolwork and basketball.
“It’s tough, but it comes with being a student athlete. It’s a tough transition, but we just try to manage our time the best we can,” Frye said.
“They’re here to get a degree first and foremost, so we’ll start back study hall as a team,” Riley said. Riley indicated that among his top priorities was raising the team’s cumulative grade point average to even higher levels than before.
The first game back for the Colonels after the break pits them at home against Abilene Christian University. The game, a long-time tradition known as Stuff Stopher, has been an attempt to fill the Nicholls gym with as many fans as possible.
The Colonels defeated ACU at home last year with a score of 63-62. Former Nicholls guard T. J. Carpenter was instrumental in the victory after recording 16 points and three steals. Frye followed him with 11 points, two blocks and a steal of his own.
“It’ll be great to get all of them [the students] back for Stuff Stopher, and we’re thrilled to have them. It is a big advantage and it really helps us,” Riley said.
Last year, Stuff Stopher brought in an attendance of over 2100 total fans, a significant difference when compared to the following home game’s attendance of 592. Stuff Stopher tips off tonight at 8 p.m.