The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Men’s basketball proved to be a force after five-game win streak

January 26, 2018

The Nicholls State University men’s basketball team emerged victorious after a tough road challenge when they defeated Lamar University with a score of 79-74. This win marked the fifth in a row for the Colonels.

RECAP
The Colonels relied on experience and stellar guard play as they captured their first victory on the road against Lamar University since 2014. Senior guards Tayvon Saddler and Roddy Peters stepped up for the team on both ends of the court.

Saddler scored 22 points and took in an impressive 16 rebounds, while Peters provided a much needed spark off the bench with 28 points and six rebounds while shooting an efficient 9-11 from the field. Peters also got to the free throw line early and often, making 10 of 12 free throw attempts on the night and leading the Colonels to a 33-8 advantage in bench points scored.

The Colonels playing inspired defense and holding Lamar to 36.1 percent from the field and 32 percent from three was a big factor in the outcome of the game. On the other hand, Nicholls shot 60.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from three on the night.

STATE OF THE TEAM
Thanks to a streak in which the team has won seven of their last eight games, including an impressive five-game winning streak, the Colonels currently sit at the top of the Southland
Conference with a record of 13-8.

Led by the 12th ranked offense in the nation (85.9 ppg) and an improved defense, the team also has the best Conference record (7-1) of any team so far. Head coach Richie Riley said the team’s commitment to playing tough defense is what has the Colonels playing at such a high level.

“We’ve really improved defensively, that’s been the key. We’ve really started to guard at a high level, I think we’re number one in the Southland Conference in defensive field goal percentage. Our mindset defensively has changed our identity and that’s equated to a lot of wins.”

LOOKING AHEAD
The Colonels will return home to face Southeastern Louisiana University on Saturday. The Lions are currently tied for third place in Southland Conference standings. Riley explained that the team will be up for the challenge that they will face.

“Southeastern is good, they’re 6-2 in Southland Conference play and have had a very good non-conference season. Coach Jay Ladner does a great job, they’re disciplined, physical and are great defensively. It’s going to be an unbelievable challenge and were excited for it.”

NEW COURT, WHO’S THIS?
Saturday’s game will mark the first game that the Colonels will play on the new court recently installed in Stopher Gymnasium. The court will be dedicated to Hall of Fame Nicholls basketball coach Rickey Broussard, and it will bring excitement to both players and fans.

“I hope it’s something that excites our guys because of the design and it’s something new. I am a routine based guy, so any change always puts me on alert a little, but it’s huge for our program,” said Riley. “It changes our whole facility, it changes the look of it and makes it a lot nicer. Our guys have been working hard and they deserve something like this, I’m glad we could make that happen.”

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