BUENA VISTA, Va. Behind 14-rebounds from Terrell Johnson and 28-points from Ade Swann the Southern Virginia Men's Basketball team took down previously unbeaten Eastern Mennonite 92-79. Bryce Pendleton added to the SVU total as he put in 24-points on 7-of-14 shooting, and went 5 for 9 from beyond the three point line.
"This was a huge win for us," said Head Coach Brian Pendleton. "They (EMU) were undefeated, and are picked to do well in their conference. I would say that this could be seen as a signature win for us. Terrell had a tremendous game. Bryce and Ade were consistent as usual, and we got a win over a strong program. I'm very happy with this game."
The Knights grabbed the lead early in the first half and went in to the break up 49-43. Pendleton had been a thorn in the Royal's side as he was left open to hit clutch shots in the first half. The largest lead for the hosts in the first half came as Marquis Williams hit Chris Lewis for a basket after a Williams steal. This had been preceded by a Pendleton 3-pointer, and the Knights had a lead that they would not surrender until 16:08 mark of the second half.
"We did a good job of adjusting to their press, as well as their fronting defense," said Pendleton. "A key for this game was our rebounding, and then I think our free-throw shooting was crucial to the win."
The Knights had a solid match on the glass as they out-rebounded the Royals 42-34. Key offensive boards by Johnson and Lewis helped the Knights pull away in the second half after the game had been tied by the visitors. With fifteen minutes left in the game, the Knights used 4 straight three-pointers from Swann, Pendleton, and Cory Evans to give them a 7-point lead, and a lead that they would not surrender for the rest of the game.
In the last minutes of the game, the Knights were able to extend the lead, as the Royals were forced to foul to stop the clock and get closer. SVU made them pay for the fouls as they went 20 for 22 from the stripe in the second half alone. The Knights only made 9 of their 23 shots from the field further emphasizing the key of the free throw shots for the hosts. The free throws iced the game for the Knights and allowed SVU to head toward finals and the Christmas break at 8-4 on the season.
SVU was 27-60 from the field for the day, shooting 45%. The Knights were 9-18 from three-point range, and 29-34 from the free throw line for a 85% free-throw percentage. SVU will play its next game after the break Jan. 9 when the team travels to play Knoxville College.