Sam McBeath, Ja'Dante' Frye and Amin Torres had 10 each for Nicholls (6-13, 3-6 Southland Conference).
Nicholls consistently drove inside making 25 of 44 (56.8 percent) from the floor.
Nicholls led throughout the second half until New Orleans' Kevin Hill made a three-point play and Tevin Broyles made two free throws to tie the game at 46 with 8:30 remaining. Torres responded with a layup and T.J. Carpenter nailed a 3-point jumper to lead 51-46 at the 7:12 mark. Christavious Gill, who finished with 14 points, hit a 3 to close to 53-50 with 5:12 left. The Colonels responded with three straight layups to lead 59-50 with 3:01 left.
Hill had 12 points and Broyles chipped in with 10 for New Orleans (6-12, 2-7).