Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University men's basketball team extended its current home winning streak to 25 games on Saturday with a thrilling 96-87 overtime win over USCAA-rival The Apprentice School.
"That was an amazing game," said first-year Head Coach Tony Caputo, who has Southern Virginia (11-3) off to its best start ever. "We have a great rivalry with Apprentice and games between our two schools always seem to be competitive."
A made layup by Isaac Jacobson (Kitty Hawk, N.C.) with only 5:24 left in the second half gave Southern Virginia a ten-point lead (71-61) over Apprentice (13-7), but the Shipbuilders outscored the Knights 18-6 over the next five minutes to take a two-point lead (79-77) with only 20 seconds remaining in regulation.
On the ensuing possession, the Knights gave the ball to their leading scorer, Casey Nye (Kaysville, Utah), who drove along the left baseline and scored the game-tying basket with only ten seconds left on the clock forcing the first overtime game for Southern Virginia this season and the first men's basketball overtime game in The Barn since Nov. 15, 2006.
Southern Virginia rallied in overtime outscoring Apprentice 17-8 over the final five minutes of play as the Knights held on for their school record 25th straight win at home. Coincidentally, Apprentice was the last team to beat the Knights on their home court nearly three years earlier when the Shipbuilders defeated Southern Virginia 70-61 on Feb. 13, 2010.
"Apprentice always plays well here and we had a feeling this game would go down to the wire," Caputo said. "That was a big-time shot by Casey (Nye) to force overtime where we had momentum and the crowd behind us."
Apprentice will host Southern Virginia in Newport News, Va., for a rematch of today's overtime contest next Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m.
Before next Saturday's rematch with Apprentice, men's basketball will travel to Frostburg State on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at for a game at 7 p.m.