BUENA VISTA, Va. A 10-point second-half deficit was too much for the Southern Virginia Men's Basketball team to overcome as they lost to Apprentice 70-61. Knight Arena had been an impregnable fortress for the season, as SVU was undefeated at home. The loss ends a streak of 13 consecutive home victories for the Knights dating back to December of 2008.
The game had been a back-and-forth match in the first half. SVU was able to attain an 8-point lead early on in the first half, but the Builders regrouped from SVU's opening punch. Apprentice was able to whittle down the lead, and went into the half-time leading 35-32, despite a made three-point shot from Marquis Williamson. The shot came after the buzzer, and the Knights would have to look to the second half to get back the lead.
The lea never came for the Knights as Apprentice worked the ball down low, and established a presence that SVU could not move. The Builders were able to enjoy their biggest lead of the game at 12-points at the 2:03 mark of the half. Three-pointers from Bryce Pendleton, Ade Swann and Cory Evans gave SVU hope, but Apprentice iced the game from the free-throw line, along with their breaking of the Knight press.
Swann was joint leading-scorer for the game, with Apprentice's Eric Joe, putting in 18-points. Williamson was the only other Knight to have double-digit points, while Apprentice had four players placed in double-figures.
The Knights were unable to solve the height advantage the visitors had, as they only ere able to pull down 33-rebounds to the visitors' 40. SVU struggled from the field converting only 22 of its 65 chances. A huge deficit for the Knights lay in the 3-point shooting disparity as they went 6-for-25 behind the arc, but Apprentice shot 1-for-3 all game. Free-throw shooting was, again, a problem for the hosts as they converted on 11-of-19 chances from the line.
SVU falls to 12-7 on the season. The Knights will return to action Feb. 17 when they travel to play NCAA D. I Longwood. Tip-off is at 7:00 pm.