LAKE CHARLES — Dantrell Thomas scored 24 points to help Nicholls State hold off McNeese State 64-63 Monday night in Southland Conference play.
Fred Hunter tallied his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds while T.J. Carpenter added 11 points and five rebounds for Nicholls State, which led 38-22 at halftime.
Dontae Cannon led McNeese State (6-7, 0-3) with 18 points, Ledrick Eackles had 13 and Desharick Guidry chipped in 10.
McNeese State opened the second half on a 27-9 run and took its first lead of the game, 49-47, behind a Cannon layup. McNeese State extended their lead to 56-49 with 6:38 remaining but Nicholls State (3-10, 2-1) outscored the Cowboys 15-7 the rest of the way.
Nicholls State, which has won two of its last three games after losing seven straight, held a 41-32 rebounding advantage — including 17 on the offensive end.
SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA 67, LAMAR 63: In Beaumont, Texas, Brandon Fortenberry converted a three-point play with 39 seconds left, helping Southeastern Louisiana hold off Lamar’s late rally.
Fortenberry made a layup, was fouled and sank the free throw for what turned out to be the winning points for the Lions (4-9, 2-1 Southland). That made it 65-63, and after Lamar’s Donley Minor missed a tying layup in the final seconds, Dre Evans was fouled and made two free throws for the final margin.
Evans led the Lions with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Roosevelt Johnson added 15 points and Fortenberry had 11.
Keilan Blanks and Rhon Mitchell scored 14 apiece off the bench for the Cardinals (2-13, 0-2), who trailed by as many as 15 in the first half and 37-28 at halftime.
NORTHWESTERN STATE 73, SAM HOUSTON STATE 64: In Huntsville, Texas, DeQuan Hicks scored 24 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds, helping Northwestern State erase the memory of its last game against Sam Houston State.
Hicks was 9 of 14 from the floor. James Hulbin added 14 points for the Demons (9-4, 3-0 Southland), who set an NCAA record for long-range futility in last season’s Feb. 22 meeting with SHSU, missing all 26 of their 3-point attempts. They were 4 of 20 from behind the arc Monday.
Northwestern State trailed for most of the game but took the lead for good, 63-62, on Jalan West’s two free throws with 3:04 to play. Hicks added two foul shots and a layup before Shamir Davis made four free throws in the final 1:04 to seal the victory.
James Thomas scored 16 points for the Bearkats (8-6, 1-1), who fell to 6-2 at home.
XAVIER (N.O.) 70, TALLADEGA 66: In Talladega, Ala.,Wanto Joseph scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half Monday to rally NAIA No. 16 Xavier to a Gulf Coast Athletic Conference victory over Talladega.
The Gold Rush (14-3 overall, 2-0 GCAC) won a conference road game for the second time in three days after trailing by four at halftime. It was Xavier’s third consecutive victory and its eighth in nine road games this season.
Xavier outscored the Tornadoes (6-6, 1-1) 35-27 in the second half after trailing 39-35 at halftime. Talladega’s biggest first-half lead was 12 points.
Anthony Simmons scored 13 points for the Gold Rush, and Renard Smith had 12 points, a career-high-tying six rebounds and a career-best five assists. Denzell Erves missed his fourth consecutive double-double but finished with nine points and nine rebounds.
Darrion Booker and Jimmie Davis each scored 18 points for Talladega.
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