Written by Chris Pendleton
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.—Powered by Amaris Newkirk's first career triple-double, the Southern Virginia University women's basketball team cruised past the Pennsylvania College of Technology 70-39 on Wednesday evening as the Knights recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since late November.
Newkirk (Folsom, N.M.) led all scorers with 17 points to go along with an astounding 13 steals and 11 rebounds as the junior transfer-student became the first Southern Virginia women's basketball player in nearly a decade to record a triple-double—the Knights' last triple-double came from four-time USCAA All-American Liz Weber on March 16, 2002 at the NBCAA National Tournament.
Perhaps even more impressive, Newkirk also recorded nine assists in the Knights' win—just one assist shy of a seldom seen quadruple-double.
After scoring only six points during the first six minutes of play at Penn College (1-15), Southern Virginia (8-8) caught firing offensively pouring in 32 points over the final 14 minutes of the opening half to take a 20-point lead (38-18) into halftime.
Southern Virginia never looked back as aggressive defense led to easy offense for the Knights who finished with a season-high 28 takeaways, while forcing Penn College to commit 41 turnovers for the game. Behind Newkirk's historic defensive effort, the Knights held Penn College to 25 percent shooting (12-of-48)—the lowest of any Southern Virginia opponent all season.
"It was a great effort as we took a step forward in terms of coming together as a team," said 13-year Head Coach Mike Harmon following Wednesday's victory. "And Amaris was outstanding."
Senior Nicole Baker (Burley, Idaho) continued her strong play of late, swiping six steals of her own to go along with 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Freshman Larissa Conger (Merino, Colo.) came off the bench to score 12, while grabbing eight boards and three steals.
Senior Cara Joyner (Columbia, Miss.) was the fourth Knight in double-figures adding 10 points in the win.
Women's basketball has two days off before hosting Bennett College on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the men's team, which will host The Apprentice School at 4 p.m.
Watch both games live on the Southern Virginia Athletics online broadcast portal.