Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—Sophomore Wesley Evans (Crystal Lake, Ill.) scored a career-high 27 points on a scorching 9-for-11 shooting night, including 7-for-8 from behind the arc helping the Southern Virginia University men's basketball team secure a 97-84 win over Asbury College in Friday's opening game of the 2012 Berea Classic.
"I was really proud of how our team hung in there throughout a close-fought game," said first-year Head Coach Tony Caputo. "It was a total team effort. Both our starters and bench played great tonight and it was probably our best offensive performance so far this year."
Despite a six-hour bus ride to Berea, Ky., Southern Virginia (3-1) scored a season-high 97 points against Asbury (7-4) while shooting 57.1 percent (36-for-62) from the floor and 60.0 percent (12-for-20) from 3-point range.
Five different Knights—Casey Nye (Kaysville, Utah), Anders Jacobson (Kitty Hawk, N.C.), Isaac Jacobson (Kitty Hawk, N.C.), Payton Brooks (Beaverton, Ore.) and Evans—reached double figures, while Evans tied single-game records for second-most made 3-pointers (7) and second-highest 3-point percentage (7-for-8, 87.5 percent) in Southern Virginia men's basketball history. Evan's 27 points on Friday also marks the most single-game points from a non-starter in school history.
"What made Wesley's performance so special was the fact he was expending a ton of energy guarding Asbury's leading scorer for much of the game," Caputo said. "Any time you can get 27 points on 9-for-11 shooting and great defense off the bench, you'll take it.
Southern Virginia's entire bench played well on Friday outscoring Asbury's bench 48-21 for the game. The Knights also outrebounded the Eagles 37-27.
"Our starters scored 49 tonight and our bench had 48," said Caputo. "We thought we had a balanced team coming into the season and that was definitely the case tonight."
Asbury led by as many as 7 points early during Friday's first half, but Southern Virginia fought back to tie the score at 45-45 by halftime, before outscoring the Eagles 52-39 during the final 20 minutes of play.
Nye was Southern Virginia's second-leading scorer with 17 points, while A. Jacobsen and I. Jacobsen pitched in 13 points apiece. I. Jacobson also grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds as the senior point guard continues to lead Southern Virginia this season with 7.5 rpg.
Brooks scored 11 off the bench on a solid 3-for-4 shooting night from downtown. Senior Adam Delph led Asbury with 24 points on 9-for-16 shooting.
Men's basketball plays host school Berea College (7-2) tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the final game of the 2012 Berea Classic.
Watch live as the Knights take on the Mountaineers.