The day before Nicholls State University thrashed Houston Baptist 77-54 for the Colonels 11th consecutive win at home stretching back to last season, Bryanna Washington was in Stopher Gym working on her shot.

Not at practice. That was several hours earlier.

Over the past few weeks, Washington spent almost every day taking extra work wherever she could get it, improving her mid-range shot and post moves. on Friday, Washington returned to the court following the men’s team practice for close to another hour.

What Nicholls saw Saturday afternoon were the results of that hard work.

The sophomore post player had the best game of her career against the Huskies, recording her first ever double double with career highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds. She also registered two steals and an assist in 27 minutes of action.

With her vocal presence, the young team captain commanded the paint against a HBU team that stood an average of 2 1/2 inches taller the Colonels at every position — the Huskies the tallest team in the Southland Conference and Nicholls the shortest.

In the tip-off alone, Nicholls’ Airi Hamilton gave up eight inches to the 6-foot-4 Veronika Kirienko, and yet it was Washington who led the charge for the Colonels to beat HBU 49-33 across the boards and outscore them 36-22 in the paint.

“I guess I should be doing more extra work,” Washington said. “It just kind of clicked for me because, considering last year when I wasn’t really doing much, it’s time for me to step up as a starter and be the main inside game right now. It just clicked for me that I needed to get in there more than just a little bit.”

Coach DoBee Plaisance’s message to her team after losing to Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday was to “do more.” Sure, the Colonels (9-7) are undefeated at home and a 3-1 record to start conference play is one of the best in recent memory, but Nicholls can always do more, she said.

Saturday reset the bar for how much more the Colonels can give this season with Cassidy Barrios saying it was the best performance of the season to date.

The Colonels shot a relatively clean 46.1 percent from the field, and for the first time since the start of conference, Nicholls finished with a positive turnover-to-assist ratio.

Even the majority of Nicholls’ 17 turnovers resulted in a dead ball, thus preventing HBU (6-7, 1-2 SLC) from quick transitions. The Huskies only scored 14 points off turnovers and four points on fast breaks.

“I was very excited that no time was I looking out onto the court and thinking, ‘What are they doing?’ Not one time do I recall thinking, ‘Why are they shooting it?’” Plaisance said. “It was all good stuff.”

Barrios once again had the best day, statistically, of anyone on the court with 14 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and three steals for her 11th double double in 16 games.

But it was her lone block of the game with 1:52 to play in the first quarter that stood out as the most significant.

With her 108th career rejection, Barrios became Nicholls’ all-time blocks leader, surpassing Alisha Allen (2009-13). It’s the first career record for Barrios, who is closing in on the program record for points and steals, as well.

“It’s just blessings that show all of the hard work that myself and my team has put in,” she said. “It’s an honor for me to get that out the way now and I don’t have to even worry about it. Everything else will fall into place after that.”

Nicholls led for the vast majority of the day after taking the lead late in the first quarter.

HBU hung around for a while, but a 21-9 run to start the fourth quarter sparked by Tykeria Williams’ seven points gave Nicholls more than enough distance to cruise to victory.

“It was just different out there,” Barrios said. “We were gelling out there perfectly. Nobody was taking crazy shots or throwing the ball away. We were always in an offense and we were always in a defense. You knew where everybody was, which is why we all flowed together and it was a smooth win.”