January 28, 2012

Nye Leads Knights in Upset of Apprentice

Written by Chris Pendleton

BUENA VISTA, Va.—Fueled by 21 points from junior Casey Nye, the Southern Virginia University men's basketball team avenged its only home loss in the past three seasons on Saturday by upsetting USCAA-rival The Apprentice School 90-59 in the Knight Sports Arena. 

Southern Virginia (9-8), currently ranked No. 4 in the USCAA Coaches' Poll, came into Saturday's game against No. 3 ranked Apprentice (14-6) on a program record 16-game home winning streak—a streak that began nearly two years ago after a 61-70 home loss to the Shipbuilders on Feb. 13, 2010.

Determined not to let the Shipbuilders dismantle their streak, the Knights looked sharp early rolling off 10 unanswered points over a four-minute stretch early in the first half to take a 15-5 lead by the 13:18 mark.

Three minutes later, Southern Virginia seized its largest lead of the half (23-9) after freshman Justin Wolf sparked the Knights off the bench with a key offensive rebound and put back in the lane.

Following a made 3-pointer from Apprentice's Isaih Harrison—Harrison led the Shipbuilders with 18 points on the afternoon—Wolf answered back on the Knights' ensuing possession with a monster dunk off a no-look pass from Nye igniting the Southern Virginia crowd and forcing the visitors to call timeout down 25-12 with 9:25 remaining in the half.

Apprentice's timeout slowed Southern Virginia's momentum allowing the Shipbuilders to cut their deficit to ten points just before intermission (37-27). 

The Knights struggled early in the second period watching their once 14-point lead dwindle all the way down to four (46-42) with 13:27 still remaining in the game, before a Nye 3-pointer 13 seconds later swung momentum back in Southern Virginia's favor as the Knights outscored Apprentice 44-17 from that point on.

Nye, who led all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting, also grabbed seven boards, dished out five assists and swiped three steals in one of his best games of the season.

Wolf also had the finest game of his young career finishing with seven points, three rebounds and two blocks in 20 minutes of action.

Fellow freshman Justin Langford also came up huge for the Knights in his first start of the season scoring an efficient 15 points while hitting six of his nine shots to go along with seven rebounds.

Jon Jacobson added 13 points and a team-high eight boards in the win.

Having now won 17 straight at home in The Barn, the Knights pushed their home record to 31-3 (.912) under fourth-year Head Coach Brian Pendleton with Saturday's win over Apprentice. Read more about Southern Virginia's unique home court advantage at scoop.svu.edu.

Next up, men's basketball travels to NCAA Division I Longwood University on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.

Watch a replay of Saturday's win over Apprentice on the Southern Virginia online athletic broadcast portal.