BUENA VISTA, Va. A stifling defense led the Southern Virginia Men's Basketball team to a commanding lead in the first half, and the Knights went on to win their season opener 86-47. SVU was able to keep the Cobras in check for large portions of the first half and only allowed them to score 22 points. Meanwhile, the hosts were sprinting to a lead they would never relinquish. At one point SVU was up 25-2, and the lead would only get bigger.
"We came out firing on all cylinders," said Head Coach Brian Pendleton. "The defense was top-notch and our shots were falling. It's great to start a season off with a win. It's even better to win like this. We are by no means a complete team, but progress like this will get us there quickly."
Ade Swann led all players with 21-points, while Terell Johnson pulled down eight rebounds. Dewayne Beamon played lock-down defense for the Knights as he recorded two steals and caused several other turnovers during the game. The tempo of the game was at a breakneck speed, with the Knights constantly forcing the issue. SVU was able to get VIC in foul trouble early, and used the foul advantage to create easy points in the paint.
"With their foul trouble we knew we could create easy baskets," said Pendleton. "They had to play a little hesitant, and that played into our hands as we ran and forced them to either catch up or get out of the way. They got out of the way."
The Knights forced 30 turnovers, and went to the foul line 34 times. One of the few concerns for SVU coaches will be the poor performance at the line. SVU converted only 20 of their 34 attempts. The misses didn't hurt the hosts on the night, but Pendleton and staff felt that this will not be the case later in the year.
The second half was more of the same, as SVU pushed the lead even further, and erased any hope of a miracle comeback. The 39-point margin of victory was one of the largest margins of victory for an opening game in Knight history.
SVU is back in action Nov. 13 when they host Penn State- Mont Alto. Tipoff for the game is 8:00 pm.