HARRISONBURG, Va. – Playing in its third game in as many nights, the Southern Virginia University men's basketball team never led during Saturday's 75-73 loss to Eastern Mennonite University in the final game of the EMU Tip-Off Classic.
The Runnin' Royals of Eastern Mennonite came in to Saturday's matchup with Southern Virginia as the third ranked team in NCAA Division III men's basketball and opened the game with a 16-2 run in front of a ruckus home crowd. EMU maintained its lead throughout the first half and entered the break with a 42-28 advantage over SVU after holding the Knights to 27% shooting for the half.
Eastern Mennonite's lead swelled to as many as 19 in the second half before outside shooting and increased defensive pressure allowed Southern Virginia to change the game's momentum and cut into its large deficit. Southern Virginia had EMU's lead down to single digits after a three pointer with 6:17 remaining made it 63-56.
The Knight's continued to claw away at the lead, coming within two points of the Royals when a Casey Nye three pointer made it 71-69 with 39 seconds left on the clock. Although Southern Virginia had not been within two of the Royals since the opening basket of the game, the Knights were not able to come any closer as EMU hit all six of its free throws down the stretch.
The Knights return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 22 when they make the short trip to Lexington, Va. to take on NCAA Division I opponent, Virginia Military Institute. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m.