Armstrong's Game-Winner Lifts Southern Virginia Past Royals

Armstrong's Game-Winner Lifts Southern Virginia Past Royals

HARRISONBURG, Va. — The Southern Virginia University men's basketball team earned its first win of the 2019-20 season defeating Eastern Mennonite, 68-67, Tuesday night at Yoder Arena.

"I love the resiliency we showed today," said head coach Adam Wardenburg. "We competed as a team and stuck together through the tough moment, which led to us coming out on top against a good team. Offensively we moved the ball and played well together and get some shots and 16 offensive rebounds. Defensively we were able to speed them up, and when we get big and fly around, we are a good team. I am proud of our guys and look forward to our next game this Friday."

Sam Armstrong led Southern Virginia with 20 points, his fourth 20+ point game of the season. Kimball Cottam was the only other Knight to reach double figures in scoring with 11 while also pulling down six rebounds. Trey Dill recorded a team-high 11 rebounds while also posting nine points. Austin Wood led the Knights' bench with eight points and a pair of assists. Quincy Jones recorded a game-high four assists while George Howe scored eight points to round out the starting five.

In the first half, neither team managed to gain an advantage, with back-and-forth play all through the half. The largest lead either team held was four points (EMU at 12:13, 14-10, and Southern Virginia at 1:41, 34-30). The Knights (1-8) headed into the half leading by one, 34-33.

Cottam led Southern Virginia with nine (4-for-7) points and four rebounds while the Knights as a team shot 43.8 percent (14-for-32) from the floor and 30 percent (3-for-10) from deep. The Knights defense also managed to hold the Royals (1-6) scoreless from deep (0-for-7).

Southern Virginia quickly jumped to its largest lead of the game two minutes into the second half up 39-33. The Royals answered with an impressive 20-4 run to lead 53-43 with 10:22 left in the game. The Knights slowly chipped away at the EMU lead to tying the game at 62-62, following a 19-9 run over seven minutes.

The Knights trailed 66-67 with 20 seconds remaining late in the second half before calling a timeout. Southern Virginia managed to get off a shot with nine seconds remaining, but the attempt fell off the front of the rim, where freshman George Howe recorded a critical offensive rebound. Armstrong then received the ball and dribbled to his right just inside the three-point line knocking down the game-winning shot with 2.4 seconds left to give the Knights the victory.

For the game, Southern Virginia edged the Royals on the boards 39-37, points off turnovers 18-12, and second-chance points 10-9. EMU owned the paint outscoring the Knights 52-26. Southern Virginia shot 36.8 percent (7-for-19) from behind the arc while limiting the Royals to 7.7 percent (1-for-13) on the game.

The Knights continue its seven-game road trip this weekend, Dec. 6-7 at the Roger Taylor Invitational against N.C. Wesleyan at 8 p.m. on Friday and Greensboro at 1 p.m. on Saturday.