Written by Chris Pendleton
Despite a season-high 29 points from senior Nicole Baker, the Southern Virginia University women's basketball team opened its spring schedule with a 62-67 loss at USCAA-rival The Apprentice School.
After a hot start to the season—the Shipbuilders entered Wednesday's matchup as the No. 2 ranked team in the USCAA coaches' poll with only one loss on the year and a perfect 6-0 conference record—Apprentice (15-1) jumped out to an early lead over Southern Virginia (5-7) scoring ten unanswered points over the first five minutes of play.
Following a Southern Virginia timeout, Baker (Burley, Idaho) caught fire scoring 18 points over the next 15 minutes on a sizzling 8-of-10 shooting bringing the Knights within five points (30-35) of the Shipbuilders by halftime.
Southern Virginia opened the second half on a 10-0 run capped by a Cara Joyner (Columbia, Miss.) layup giving the Knights their first lead of the game (40-39) at the 16:11 mark.
The lead changed hands three times over the next three minutes before a made jump shot by Larissa Conger (Merino, Colo.) knotted the game at 49-49 with 11:34 remaining. Apprentice outscored Southern Virginia 14-7 over the next eight minutes, however, as Southern Virginia's comeback fell just short and the Shipbuilders remained undefeated (11-0) on their home court.
In addition to Baker, who finished 12-of-14 from the floor, Joyner and Conger each scored season highs at Apprentice adding 10 and 9 respectively. Joyner also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds, while Baker finished with seven boards.
After starting the season 5-1, No. 7 ranked Southern Virginia has now lost six straight dating back to Nov. 29, 2011.
The Knights look to end their current slide on Friday, Jan. 20 when they travel to Penn State-Fayette for the second of seven consecutive games against USCAA competition.