HOUSTON – HBU and Nicholls swapped leads 15 times in the first half but it was the visiting Colonels who pulled away in the second half as the Huskies dropped a 92-83 Southland Conference matchup on Wednesday evening inside Sharp Gym.
The first half of the game was tightly contested with 15 lead changes in the first 20 minutes. Nicholls (7-5, 5-1 SLC) held an 18-14 lead eight minutes in but the Huskies (2-11, 1-4 SLC) scored the next six for a two-point lead two minutes later. After more back-and-forth, HBU went ahead 32-31 after Brycen Long connected on a trio of free throws at the 4:41 mark before the Colonels closed the half by holding a 14-6 advantage in scoring for a 45-38 halftime lead.
The Huskies’ deficit increased to 14 early but an 8-0 stretch capped by a Pedro Castro old-fashioned three-point play made it a 59-53 ballgame with 13 minutes to go. Over the next four minutes, however, the Colonels went a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor and pushed their lead to 76-56. Trailing by 19 with just 3:18 left on the clock, the Huskies went on a frantic run to pull within 10, 88-78, with 1:32 on the clock but were unable to get closer until a Long three shortly before the buzzer.
Long finished the night with a career-high 15 points, knocking down 5-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-5 from three in his first career start. The freshman also added three rebounds and two steals. Castro led the Huskies with 17 points and seven rebounds, knocking down 4-of-6 from beyond the arc to improve his three-point field goal percentage for the season to 57.4 percent (27-of-47).
Freshman Jade Tse dished out a career-best eight assists in 21 minutes on the floor and added nine points. Za-Ontay Boothman added 11 points for the Huskies while Myles Pierre finished with 10 points and matched a career-high with six assists. Sophomore Zach Iyeyemi also matched a career-high, pulling down six rebounds and adding eight points.
Nicholls took advantage of 24 HBU turnovers, turning those into 32 points, and held a 52-28 scoring advantage in the paint. The Colonels were led by Ty Gordon who finished with 27 points while Andre Jones added 23.
HBU will continue on in SLC play at home on Saturday, Jan. 23, with a 5:00 p.m. tip-off against the McNeese Cowboys.