January 13, 2012

Men’s Basketball Wins Both Games at the Knights New Year Classic, Pushes Home Winning Streak to Record 16 Games

Written by Chris Pendleton

BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University men's basketball team pushed its home winning streak to a program-record 16 games this weekend winning two home contests at the Knights New Year Classic defeating Asbury University 61-54 on Friday followed by a 64-56 win on Saturday over Tennessee Temple University.

Southern Virginia's current home winning streak, which now spans three seasons dating back to Feb. 20, 2008, is the longest in the program's 15-year history.

During Brian Pendleton's four seasons at the helm of men's basketball, the Knights are now an outstanding 30-3 (.909) at home in The Barn.

Friday

On Friday against Asbury (6-9) the Knights were led by freshman Justin Langford, who was Southern Virginia's top scorer for the first time this season, netting a team-high 15 points off the bench to go along with five rebounds.

The Knights jumped out to an early lead over Asbury opening with a 15-5 run to begin the half capped by a Langford 3-pointer at the 14:12 mark. Asbury responded, however, by outscoring Southern Virginia 29-19 over the next 14 minutes to pull even with the Knights (34-34) just before intermission.

Another 3-pointer from Langford pushed Southern Virginia's advantage back to nine (49-40) with 9:16 left in the contest, but Asbury again closed the gap cutting the Knights' lead to one point (52-51) with just under five minutes (4:51) remaining.

Southern Virginia was able to stave off Asbury's comeback, however, with tenacious defense down the stretch allowing the Eagles only one basket over the final 4:51 of play to secure a seven-point victory despite shooting a season-low 32.7 percent from the field.

Casey Nye was the Knights' second leading scorer with 11 while Anders Jacobson and Travis Van Noy each added 10 points and six rebounds. Point guard Isaac Jacobson led Southern Virginia with eight boards.

Saturday

Less than 24 hours after a tough-fought victory over Asbury, Southern Virginia regrouped to defeat an athletic Tennessee Temple team that had also collected a win the previous evening defeating Virginia University of Lynchburg 65-55.

Southern Virginia's weary legs showed early as Tennessee Temple scored four unanswered baskets to go up 9-0 on the Knights just over three minutes into the game.

Led by eight first-half points from Nye, Southern Virginia clawed its way back into the game cutting its deficit to a single basket (25-27) before the break. 

Nye would add eight more in the second half to lead all scorers with 16 for the game as the Knights pulled away from Tennessee Temple late in the second half, amassing their largest lead of the afternoon (61-51) on a layup from Nye with only 1:15 remaining on the clock.

Southern Virginia would hold on for an eight-point victory as A. Jacobson and Langford each chipped in 12, while I. Jacobson added 11 to go along with a team-high six rebounds and a game-high six assists.

Jonathan Jacobson also pitched in eight points, five boards and four steals in the victory.

In addition to their record 16-game home winning streak, the Knights have now one five straight games dating back to their Dec. 1, 2011 home victory over Virginia Intermont. 

Men's basketball has nearly a week of rest before traveling to Lynchburg, Va. on Friday, Jan. 20 for its second game of the season against the Dragons of Virginia University of Lynchburg.  The Knights won their first matchup with VUL 68-53 on Nov. 4, 2011.

Watch a replay of Southern Virginia's victories this weekend on Southern Virginia's online athletic broadcast portal.