Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University women's basketball team ended its fall-semester schedule on a five-game slide after falling to the visiting Virginia Intermont College Cobras 73-76 in the Knight Sports Arena on Thursday.
Southern Virginia (5-6) never led during Wednesday's first half against Virginia Intermont (6-5) as the Knights trailed the Cobras by as many as 11 points before entering halftime down nine (32-41).
The Knights chipped away at the Cobras advantage over the first 10 minutes of the second half before taking their first lead of the game on a Mina Romito (Walker, La.) layup after a beautiful full-court assist from Alli Winters (St. John, Wash.) putting Southern Virginia up one (55-54) at the 9:20 mark.
Southern Virginia and Virginia Intermont then traded baskets before a made jumper from Ivy Kuroki (Hershey, Neb.) with 6:53 remaining gave the Knights their largest lead of the game (59-56).
The Cobras responded with three consecutive 3-pointers sparking a 15-2 run over the next three minutes pushing their lead back to double figures (71-61) with just under four minutes (3:52) to play.
A bucket in the paint from Nicole Baker (Burley, Idaho), followed by five straight points from Romito and a clutch 3-pointer from Kuroki brought Southern Virginia back within four (71-75) of Virginia Intermont at the 1:13 mark.
The Knights put on a half-court trap forcing the Cobras into a turnover on their ensuing possession, which allowed Romito to cut Southern Virginia's deficit to a single basket (73-75) as the junior scored on an assist from Christinia Augustin (Orem, Utah) with 53 ticks left on the clock.
Romito—the Knights leading scorer on the season averaging 15.2 points per game—finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with seven rebounds.
After a made free throw put Virginia Intermont up three (73-76) with 14 seconds to go, Southern Virginia had two good looks at a game-tying 3-pointer, but the Knights were unable to connect as the final buzzer ended their near comeback.
Three-point shooting was the major disparity for Southern Virginia during Wednesday's loss as the Knights connected on only 18.5 percent (5-of-27) of their 3-point attempts, while the Cobras hit scorching 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from behind the arc.
In comparison, Southern Virginia shot 33.3% from 3-point range when they defeated the Cobras 90-83 in their opening game of the season.
After a 5-1 start to the season, women's basketball will enter its winter break at 5-6 following five-game losing streak to end the semester.
Amaris Newkirk (Folsom, N.M.) was the Knights second-leading scorer on the evening netting 12-points off the bench, while pulling down five boards. Augustin was just behind Newkirk with 11, while Winters dished out a team-high six assists and Baker led all players with eight rebounds.
Southern Virginia will not play again until Wednesday, January 18 when the Knights travel to Newport News, Va. for the first of two spring-semester matchups against USCAA-rival The Apprentice School.