NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The Southern Virginia University men's basketball team defeated The Apprentice School 77-68 on Saturday in a key USCAA match-up and set a new program record for single-season victories moving to 18-7 on the year. The previous high for wins in a season was set in 2008-09, when Southern Virginia went 17-12 during Coach Pendleton's first season at the helm.
Southern Virginia entered Saturday's contest as the second ranked team in the USCAA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Poll—the highest such ranking in program history—and faced an Apprentice Shipbuilder team that is ranked fifth in the same poll.
Both teams seemed evenly matched during the opening minutes of play, but with the score tied 10-10 at the 15:25 mark, Southern Virginia went on a 10-2 run to take a 20-12 lead on a Derek Cutler jumper with 11:36 remaining in the half.
Apprentice was able to claw its way back over the next six minutes to tie the score at 29-all on a three-pointer from Latrone Demiel. The Shipbuilders took their first lead since the score was 4-3 at the 18:44 mark on a Tevin Andrews jumper that made it 35-34 with 2:16 remaining. The Kights answered back by scoring the games next seven points to enter halftime with a six-point advantage (41-35).
The second half opened with Apprentice scoring the first four points to cut its deficit to 41-39. Southern Virginia responded again by scoring eight of the next nine points to push its lead back to 49-40 on a Cutler lay-in from Isaac Jacobson with 17:07 left.
Southern Virginia would lead by as many as 12 before Apprentice cut the lead to six with just under eight minutes left in the game, but the Shipbuilders would come no closer as the Knights secured the victory with clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch.
Southern Virginia has now won eight straight games matching the program record for consecutive wins also set in 2008-09. The Knights are 15-1 in their last 16 games dating back to Nov. 26, which is the best 16-game stretch in school history.
Men's basketball will travel to face NCAA Division I Longwood University on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.