Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA - The Nicholls Colonels came into the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and upset LSU, 68-66 on Friday.
The Tigers trailed by as much as 24 points in the first half and were down by 19 at the half, but battled back to grab their first lead of the contest, 58-57 with 5:36 left in the game.
Both teams played sloppy over the final five minutes with LSU blowing several opportunities to increase their slim lead.
With the Colonels trailing, 66-65, Jalen White hit a desperation three pointer with 1.5 seconds left on the clock to give Nicholls the victory.
Jalen Reed led the Tigers with 14 points on the night. Jordan Wright finished with 11 points, while Derek Fountain added 9 and Carlos Stewart 8 points.
“I’d really like to start off my saying congratulations to Coach (Tevon) Saddler and the Nicholls State program. Just a terrific job. Completely outcoached me for 40 minutes." Matt McMahon said. "He had his team ready to go and to compete at a high level. They played every possession as if it was going to determine the outcome of the game as it should be. They deserved to win. Really shouldn’t have had to work that hard to get the win. For whatever reason I didn’t have our team ready to play in the first half. They just spaced us out and whipped us off the dribble. We struggled to communicate defensively and credit to Nicholls State, they made us pay every time. With every missed switch, guys stepped up and buried threes. They just played with a lot of energy and fight. That’s how they were able to overcome the 20 turnovers that we were able to force. I apologize to everyone who came tonight. It’s my responsibility to have our team locked in and ready to compete and take great pride in putting that LSU jersey on and I failed miserably in that challenge tonight. We will get back to work this weekend to improve our team.”
Nicholls began the contest with a bolt of energy, grabbing an early 11 point lead as Jalen White hit three shots from behind the three point arc, with Rob Brown adding a fast break layup, shocking the LSU crowd.
LSU finally got on the board at the 15:57 mark when Trae Hannibal banked in a layup, 11-2 Colonels.
The sluggish start continued for the Tigers as Nicholls would go on a 14-9 run over the next five minutes to take a 25-9 advantage.
With 9:14 left in the first half LSU found themselves trailing 28-10 as the Colonels remained hot, shooting 69% from the floor while the Bayou Bengals struggled to score.
The scoreboard read, Nicholls 39, LSU 17 at the 4:19 officials timeout, as the Colonels were in the middle of a 14-8 run.
The nightmarish first half mercifully came to and end with Nicholls leading LSU, 44-25 at the break.
LSU shot an ice cold 7-27 from the floor for 26% in the first half and a dismal 1-11 from three point range for 9%, while finishing 10-14 at the free throw line. Nicholls out-rebounded the Tigers, 19-13. LSU committed seven first half turnovers while forcing the Colonels into ten.
Jalen Reed lead the Tigers in the first half with 5 points, Tyrell Ward finished with 4 points, Trae Hannibal added 3, while Jordan Wright, Hunter Dean and Will Baker all finished with 2 points each. Nicholls did a fantastic job defending Will Baker, double and triple teaming him at times, keeping LSU's big man in check.
LSU started the second half with a 10-3 run, cutting the Nicholls lead to 47-35.
The Tigers began to play more aggressive on offense, taking the ball to the rim instead of depending on the perimeter shot.
Carlos Stewart hit a three pointer at the 14:25 mark to cut the Colonels lead to only nine, 47-38, giving the Pete Maravich Assembly Center fans something to cheer about.
LSU battled back to tie the contest, 57-57 at the 6:05 mark, with a 22-10 run over the last ten minutes. A few seconds later, Jalen Reed would make a free throw giving the Tigers their first lead of the night, 58-57 with 5:36 remaining.
With the loss, LSU is now 1-1 on the season. Next up the Tigers will travel to Charleston, North Carolina to play three games in the Charleston Classic. LSU will open the classic against Dayton on Thursday, November 16th. Tipoff is set for 3:00pm CST and the game will be carried on ESPN2.
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