SLU tops Nicholls State to win Southland Tip-Off

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 1/8/22

Behind 20 points from Ryan Burkhardt and 19 points and five assists from Keon Clergeot, Southeastern Louisiana University defeated Nicholls State 77-72 in the first Southland Conference Tip-Off on Saturday at the Merrell Center.

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SLU tops Nicholls State to win Southland Tip-Off

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Behind 20 points from Ryan Burkhardt and 19 points and five assists from Keon Clergeot, Southeastern Louisiana University defeated Nicholls State 77-72 in the first Southland Conference Tip-Off on Saturday at the Merrell Center.

The Lions used a fast start in the first half and rode that to the victory, answering every run that Nicholls gave them on the way to the win, giving the team some big momentum heading into conference play.

Southeastern jumped out to a seven point lead early and although Nicholls made it a four point game shortly thereafter, the Lions had an answer as Burkhardt scored eight straight points for SLU to increase the lead back to eight.

Nicholls again came back, this time making it a two point game heading into halftime courtesy of a 3-pointer at the buzzer from Pierce Spencer. But Southeastern Louisiana again came out and increased its lead early in the third quarter.

After Devante Carter tied things at 34 to start the half, the Lions steadily increased their lead going up by seven points after another Burkhardt three.

The teams went back and forth from there, but Southeastern was able to keep their lead on the way to the victory.

Burkhardt Gus Okafor were named to the all-tournament team for the Lions in the preview event for the conference tournament which will come in March.

Southeastern came into the tournament as underdogs but did face an undermanned team as Nicholls was without leading scorer Ty Gordon in the matchup.

The Lions will start conference play off against Northwestern State, while Nicholls State will play next against New Orleans.

Southland Tip-Off Final

Southeastern Louisiana University 77, Nicholls State 72

Points: (SLU) Ryan Burkhardt 20, Keon Clergeot 19, Gus Okafor 15, Jalyn Hinton 14, Roscoe Eastmond 6, Gage Larvadain 2, Antonio Gordon 1; (N) Latrell Jones 23, Devante Carter 18, Ryghe Lyons 13, Pierce Spencer 9, Jalen White 3, Mekhi Collins 2, Tyrease Terrell 2, Caleb Huffman 2;

Halftime: Southeastern Louisiana 34-32; 3-pointers: (SLU) Burkhardt 6, Clergeot 3, Okafor 2; (N) Jones 3, Lyons 2, Spencer 2, White

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