Nicholson Administers Lesson in Leadership

Nicholson Administers Lesson in Leadership

This article originally appeared online Jan. 12, 2012 and was written Buffalo News Senior Sports Columnist Jerry Sullivan following the Bonnies' 81-73 win over Dayton at the Reilly Center in which Andrew Nicholson finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks.

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OLEAN -- I had heard the excuses. Andrew Nicholson faces a steady diet of double-teams. He won't force shots. His teammates aren't giving him a lot of help. Foul trouble has cut into his playing time.

But there was no excusing the fact that Nicholson's scoring average had taken a dive this season -- from 20.8 points a game as a junior to 14.1 entering Wednesday's game against Dayton. Among returning D-I players who finished in the top 100 in scoring a year ago, that's easily the biggest drop in the country.

Nicholson is the best big man to play in the Big 4 in years, a Wooden Award nominee, the star of a St. Bonaventure team picked to finish fourth in the Atlantic 10. So with the Bonnies hosting a hot Dayton team at the Reilly Center, it was time for their 6-9 senior to start living up to his reputation as the best big man in the A-10.

Consider it done.

Nicholson played his best game of the season, scoring a season-high 30 points as the Bonnies defeated the Flyers, 81-73. Nicholson was magnificent at both ends, finishing with 13 rebounds and six blocked shots (season highs), plus two steals.

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