Written by Chris Pendleton
BUEANA VISTA, Va.—Fourth-year head coach Brian Pendleton became Southern Virginia University men's basketball all-time winningest coach on Friday as the Knights stormed past Union College in their season opener defeating the Bulldogs 82-61 in front of a ruckus home crowd.
"Tonight was a solid win for us," said Brian Pendleton following his 58th career victory. "Union is a very physical team who beat us at their place early last season making this game a good measuring stick for our team."
Pendleton has posted a 58-29 (.667) record during his four years at the helm of Southern Virginia men's basketball, including an impressive 25-3 (.892) home record during that time. Last season, Pendleton led his team to a program best 24-8 finish and the university's first USCAA men's basketball national championship.
With Friday's victory, Pendleton passed Don Chamberlain, who went 57-93 from 2000-2006 as Southern Virginia men's basketball's all-time winningest coach.
Sophomore Anders Jacobson led the way for the Knights with 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-5 from downtown, as the Knights appeared to pick up where they left off in March, jumping out to an early 24-9 lead over the Bulldogs.
A. Jacobson (Kitty Hawk, N.C.) paced the Knights early scoring 15 of his 22 points in the first half as Southern Virginia entered the break up 42-25.
Senior Spenser Briggs (Goldsboro, N.C.), who led the Knights in scoring last season averaging 16.0 ppg, carried the Knights in the second half netting 10 of his 21 points, while pulling down 9 boards from the guard position. Briggs, a 6-2 wing player, finished with a game-high 11 rebounds as Southern Virginia ran away with a 21-point victory.
Newcomer Jonathan Jacobson—brother of Anders and Isaac Jacobson—gave the Knights a huge spark off the bench scoring 12 points while shooting a high percentage (6-of-8) and grabbing five boards, including three on the offensive end. Southern Virginia's second leading scorer from last season Casey Nye (14.9 ppg), added 10 points in the victory.
During their last meeting on Nov. 12, 2010, Union defeated Southern Virginia 77-66 while outrebounding the Knights 43-36. The rebounding battle was much closer during tonight's matchup between the two teams with the Bulldogs grabbing only one more rebound than Southern Virginia (32-33).
Just as the three-point shot was a potent weapon for the Knights' last season, Southern Virginia's main advantage Friday came from behind the arc as the Knights went 7-of-17 from long range (41.2%), while the Bulldogs hit only 1-of-8 (12.5%) from three-point land.
Turnovers also hurt Union on Friday giving the ball away 24 times leading to 19 points off turnovers for Southern Virginia.
Men's basketball will play again tomorrow at 2 p.m. EDT against Virginia University of Lynchburg in Game 4 of the Southern Virginia Fall Classic. VUL fell to Lindsey Wilson College 88-61 on Friday in the opening game of the classic.
Watch tomorrow's game at Southern Virginia Athletic's online broadcasting portal. A replay of tonight's game can also be viewed by clicking the 'ON DEMAND' tab.