March 6, 2010
THIBODAUX, La. - Nicholls State outscored Lamar 12-2 in the first five minutes of the second half and held on to defeat the Cardinals 73-61 and earn the final spot in next week's Southland Conference Tournament.
Lamar led 23-22 at the break but found itself trailing 34-25 with 15:11 to play. The Colonel lead reached 11 points with just under 11 minutes left as a Fred Hunter layup gave Nicholls a 47-36 lead. The Cardinals fought back and used a 13-4 run to trim the deficit to 51-49 at the 7:00 mark.
But the big blow came with 1:24 left when Anatoly Bose made a 3-pointer with a hand in his face that saw Nicholls go ahead by nine, 65-56. Lamar never got closer than eight points the rest of the way in dropping their seventh-straight game.
Lamar (14-18, 5-11 SLC) shot 45 percent in the game but were just 2-of-11 from outside and 17-of-27 from the free throw line. The Cards did hold a 33-24 rebounding edge and a 12-6 margin in second-chance points.
Senior Justin Nabors faced double- and triple-teams all game and led the team with 14 points and four rebounds. Junior Kendrick Harris, who attacked the basket well in the second half, finished with 13 points, including nine on 3-of-6 shooting after the intermission.
Sophomore Charlie Harper had 10 points and a game-high seven rebounds in his first game back after missing the previous three with a foot injury. Freshman Donte Lopez, who made his first career start in place of the injured Anthony Miles, scored all of his career-high-tying 10 points in the second period.
Nicholls (11-18, 7-9) got 22 points from Bose and 17 from Hunter. The Colonels shot 51 percent and were 23-of-31 at the foul line, including 10-for-12 in the final 2:08.
Nicholls will now be the No. 8 seed where it will play regular-season champion Sam Houston State in Wednesday's first round.