Nicholls scored a pair of three-point baskets in the final 26 seconds of the game to hand the Texas State men’s basketball team a 66-63 loss in Stopher Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
Texas State had rallied from a 10-point deficit with 4:35 remaining in the game and took a 63-60 lead with 26 seconds left following a pair of free throws by Ryan White.
Nicholls answered on its next possession when the Colonels passed the ball around to Chris Iles in the left baseline corner. Iles nailed his three-point attempt to tie the score with 14 seconds left to play.
After the Colonels called their final timeout to set up their defense, White drove to the basket with eight seconds left. He split two defenders and went up for a lay-up attempt. But, White was called for an offensive player control foul, which disallowed the basket and gave Nicholls possession.
The Bobcats used three-quarters press on the last play, but Isles beat the pressure and found Bryson Triggs on the right wing. Triggs put up the three-point shot as he was leaning backwards with a hand in his face for the game-winner.
Texas State trailed 57-47 with 4:35 left to play following a lay-up by Fred Hunter, who led the Colonels with 17 points and eight rebounds before he picked up his fifth foul with 1:23 left in the game.
Tony Bishop, who scored 18 points and led the Bobcats with nine rebounds off the bench for the Bobcats, ignited Texas State’s rally with a three-point play. Uriel Segura hit Bishop for a lay-up and Bishop was fouled on the play by Justin Ayers. Bishop made the free throw to cut Nicholls’ lead to seven.
After Hunter answered with another lay-up for the Colonels, John Rybak made a pair of free throws and a lay-up on Texas State’s next two possessions.
After Dylan Hale stole the ball back for the Bobcats, he threw the ball ahead to J.B. Conley, who missed the lay-up, but grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Hunter while going back up for the shot. He made his first free throw, and Hale charged in from the top of the key to grab the rebound off his second attempt. Hale was fouled by Justin Ayers, who picked up his fifth foul. Hale made the second of his two free throws to pull Texas State to within 60-56 with 2:36 left in the game.
On Texas State’s next possession, Rybak hit Conley in the lane for a jumper, and he was fouled on the play by Iles. Conley made the free throw to pull Texas State to within one with 1:51 left to play.
After Kenny Franklin missed a pair of free throws for Nicholls, Bishop made a lay-up off a rebound to give the Bobcats a one-point lead and set up the bitter end.
Conley led Texas State with 20 points as he and Bishop were the only Bobcats to score in double figures. In addition to Hunter’s 17 points, Franklin scored 13 points and Anatoly Bose netted 12.
With the loss, Texas State falls to 12-14 overall and to 6-6 against Southland Conference play. The Bobcats return home to play host to Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24 in Strahan Coliseum.
— FROM TEXAS STATE SPORTS INFORMATION/RICK POULTER