NATCHITOCHES, La. – Bryson Robinson came off the bench with a game-high 17 points, Ezekiel Charles matched his Saturday totals and career-high of 15 points and four triples and Travin Thibodeaux added 11 in the University of New Orleans’ (10-10, 7-2 Southland) 73-67 victory over Northwestern State University (3-16, 0-8 Southland) Wednesday evening at Prather Coliseum.
Robinson went 3-of-4 from three-point range and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe and Charles was 5-of-8 overall and 4-of-6 from long distance. The bench outscored Northwestern State’s second unit 36-to-15 and dominated the second chance opportunities, posting 20 points off 14 offensive boards.
The Demons scored the opening five points, but a technical foul propelled the Privateers to six unanswered to give UNO its first lead of the game.
Lamont Berzat‘s second jumper of the game at the 3:05 mark gave New Orleans its largest lead thus far (+6) and after an NSU free throw, Charles drained a three to extend the UNO lead to eight.
Early on, the clubs traded points but both teams looked sloppy at times with 22 combined turnovers. The UNO defense forced 13 Northwestern State miscues.
In the stanza, the Demons and Privateers shot the ball well with NSU draining 60.0 percent of its field goals. UNO went 13-of-25 to lead at the break 35-31.
Charles was 3-of-4 from the field with two triples to lead all players with nine points. Troy Green followed with six and Berzat added five.
A Diontae Champion jumper capped off a 7-0 run that gave the Silver and Blue a nine-point lead with 13:48 to go.
Two minutes later, Thibodeaux drained a three of his own to extend the UNO lead to 53-43. The Privateers cooled off and NSU was able to rally back with eight unanswered to condense the New Orleans lead to five with 8:04 to go.
Charles took over and provided the dagger with back-to-back triples to tie his career-highs in points (15), three-pointers (four) to give UNO its largest lead of the game 66-55 with just over three minutes to play.
On the ensuing Privateers possession, Makur Puou came up with an offensive board, Zeke followed with one of his own and Thibodeaux capped off the opportunity with a layup for a 12-point cushion.
The Demons continued to claw their way back in the game, but Robinson made three of four free throws in the final 30 seconds to lead the Privateers to a 73-67 lead. The win improves the conference record to 7-2 through the first half of the 18-game Southland Conference schedule.
INSIDE THE BOX
Green scored nine points and added four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 20 minutes off the bench. Champion added five points in 17 minutes in his return and Berzat scored five points before leaving the game due to injury.
For the Demons, three players reached double figures, led by Ishmael Lane’s 14 points, seven boards and four blocks. Iziahiah Sweeney scored 13 points and dished out three assists and Malik Metoyer chipped in 12.
The Privateers head to San Antonio to close the season series with UIW. Tip-off is at 2:05 p.m. and the game will be televised in New Orleans on Cox Sports Television. New Orleans defeated UIW 74-70 January 20 at Lakefront Arena.