LYNCHBURG, Va. After a 2-0 start to the season, the Southern Virginia Men's Basketball team faced a daunting task in NCAA Division I Liberty. Despite a hard fought game, the Knights fell 89-53. SVU was able to jump to a quick 8-0 lead in the game, but the Flames recovered from the quick punch, and went on a 15-0 run after tying the game at eight. SVU played catch-up for the rest of the Knight, but could not overcome the bigger and quicker Liberty team.
"To start the way we did tonight, is a good indicator of what this team can accomplish," said Head Coach Brian Pendleton. "I feel that we played well, we just ran into a quality team. Playing against D. I's is always tricky, but it provides us with a good challenge. These games are always learning experiences, and hopefully we get better."
The Knights were able to stay within touching distance of the hosts for most of the night. Heading into halftime, the Knights trailed by 20, 39-19. Throughout the first 10 minutes of the second half, SVU was able to trade baskets with Liberty, but was never able to get momentum to get closer to the hosts.
In the last 10 minutes, the Flames were able to up the tempo and scored with greater ease than earlier in the game. Liberty was able to extend the lead, and coast to the eventual 36-point margin of victory. Even with the lop-sided loss, Knight coaches saw many positives from the game. Improved player depth is a highlight so far in the young season, as Chris Lewis led all scorers from the bench with 17-points. The bench contributed another 10 points, as they continued the streak of 20+points per game for the second unit.
Cory Evans led the Knights with 6-rebounds. SVU was also able to play a mostly error free game as they only turned the ball over 15 times. Bryce Pendleton contributed another solid effort as he scored 10-points and recorded 4-assists.
"The experience gained from this game will hopefully prepare us for the USCAA National tourney," said Pendleton. "It is a little early to look that far down the road, but we have to take opportunities for improvement. This is a game that will show weaknesses, and help us fix them. I'm happy with our effort. We'll get better from this."
The Knights go to 2-1 on the season. SVU returns to action Nov. 17 when they host Knoxville College in Knight Arena. Tipoff for the game is scheduled for 7:00 pm.