BUENA VISTA, Va. — The Southern Virginia University men's basketball team was unable to hold off Whittier College Saturday night as the Poets edged the Knights in the second half to earn the 77-74 victory.
Five Knights (0-7) reached double-figures on the day. For the second consecutive game, Jamier Cross led Southern Virginia in scoring with 17 while Kimball Cottam added 15. Trey Dill poured in 12 points to go along with nine rebounds while Ricky Stafford accounted for 12 points and seven assists. Sam Armstong also ended the game with 10 points.
Southern Virginia led the entire first 20 minutes with multiple ten-point leads at the 11:57 (22-12), 9:00 (26-16), 6:47 (31-21) marks. The Poets (2-2) remained close and ended the half outscoring the Knights 18-11, with the score 42-39 in favor of Southern Virginia.
Stafford led the Knights with 12 points at the half going (4-for-5) from deep while Kenyatta Louder paced the Poets also with 12 points.
Southern Virginia opened the second half on an 8-2 run, capped by five quick points from Dill to give the Knights the 50-41 lead with 16:05 to play. The Poets outscored the Knights 14-5 over the next 7:29 to tie the game at 55-55 with 8:35 left. Whittier claimed its first lead the ensuing possession with a pair of Ahmad Young free-throws to lead 57-55.
With just under three minutes remaining, the Poets held its largest lead of the game 75-64 with 30 seconds left. A pair of Knights three's from Cross and Armstrong brought the Poets' lead to five, 75-70 just under 15 seconds. Following a made Whittier free throw, the Knights were able to get to the line and force a turnover to trim the lead to 76-74 with several seconds left on the clock. After a foul and another made Poets free-throw, the Knights trailed 77-74 and were given an opportunity to tie but missed a game-tying shot as time expired.
Southern Virginia outshot the Poets 45.6 percent (26-for-57) to 39.7 percent (27-for-68) from the field and from three 42.6 percent (11-for-26) to 19.4 percent (6-for-31). The Poets outplayed the Knights on the boards and in the paint outrebounding them 53-28 and 34-20.
Whittier's Kenyatta Louder poured in a game-high 19 points to go along with 11 rebounds and two blocks while Ahmad Young and Kyle Price each scored 10.
The Knights remain home as they will face crosstown foes Washington and Lee University Tuesday, Nov. 26 at Knight Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.