Photo by: Lauren Hebert
The struggle lingers for Men’s Basketball on the road
January 26, 2017
Despite a 7-1 record at home, the Nicholls State University men’s basketball team has consistently struggled on the road this season.
The men’s basketball team has a 2-9 record when playing away this season, having defeated only Boston College in the season opener and Samford in the San Diego Classic.
“It’s totally different,” senior forward Ja’Dante Frye said on playing away versus at home. “We have to stay focused.”
Nicholls has statistically struggled on the road throughout its history, with the team’s last away winning record having been in the 2008 season. The only one of their previous 10 seasons the Colonels have been able to beat thus far was last year’s, where they went 1-17 on the road.
“We go on the road and play in tough environments,” Richie Riley, the Nicholls men’s basketball head coach, said.
Within their last three road games, the Colonels have faced off against Sam Houston State University, who is currently ranked second in the Southland Conference, and Stephen F. Austin University, who is ranked fifth. The Colonels currently find themselves sitting at sixth, with their results on the road having accounted for most of their losses.
“We need to shoot free throws better,” Riley said. So far the Colonels have gone 333-463 (.719) on their free throws this season.
Riley also said defensive struggles on the road could have played a large role in the team’s lack of wins. The team’s weakness on defense was most prevalent throughout December, where their closest loss on the road was by 32 points.
“We get totally different calls on the road than we do at home,” Frye said.
The Colonels had a season-high 28 fouls called on them when they played away at Northwestern State University on January 12.
“We [the basketball team] were able to put together segments of play that were really good, but when we didn’t it was bad and we can’t win on the road like that,” Riley said.
Looking ahead, six of the final 11 games for the Colonels will be played on the road, including some of their most highly ranked competition yet this season. Two of those games include a February 1 matchup against the third best team in the Southland Conference, Southeastern Louisiana University, and a February 4 game against conference leader University of New Orleans.
“We have to take it one game at a time,” Frye said.
The Colonels are on the road again tonight, this time against Houston Baptist University. Nicholls lost to Houston Baptist with a score of 69-78 last season, but beat the Huskies two seasons prior. The HBU Huskies have an overall record of 7-11 this season, and rank tenth in the Southland Conference. If Nicholls manages to beat the Huskies, the Colonels will have tied their away wins with that of their 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2014-15 seasons.
“We just have to come together and stick together no matter what,” Frye said.