THIBODAUX, La. -- Jeremy Smith scored 17 points and Dantrell Thomas 16 as Nicholls State defeated New Orleans 88-83 in a Southland Conference opener on Thursday night that featured 104 free-throw attempts.
Four Nicholls State players and two from New Orleans fouled out in a game with 72 fouls. The Colonels converted 27 of 43 free throws and the Privateers 42 of 61.
The Privateers trailed the entire second half. Down by five points with 12 seconds left, they got no closer after a missed shot and a turnover.
The game was the first conference contest for New Orleans since it was a Sun Belt member in the 2009-10 season.