Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—A late rally by the Southern Virginia University women's basketball team came up just short at home on Wednesday evening against USCAA-rival The Apprentice School as the Knights suffered their second single-digit defeat of the semester to the Shipbuilders with a 54-58 loss in the Knight Sports Arena.
After falling on the Shipbuilder's home court by only five points (62-67) less than a month ago, Southern Virginia (8-8), currently ranked No.7 in the USCAA Coaches' Poll, hoped to upset No. 2 Apprentice (19-1) in The Barn on Wednesday, a place where the Shipbuilders had won only twice in the last decade.
After a close-fought first half in which neither team led by more than five points, Apprentice began to pull away from Southern Virginia late in the second half as the Shipbuilders pushed their advantage to a game-high 11 points (39-50) with only 6:38 remaining in the game.
Still trailing by double-digits (46-56) with just under four minutes left on the clock, the Knights scored eight of the game's next ten points over a three minute stretch to pull within four points (54-58) of the Shipbuilders with 53 seconds to go.
Neither team would score again, however, as Apprentice snapped Southern Virginia's three game winning streak, while the Shipbuilders remain the only team to defeat the Knights in 2012.
Senior Nicole Baker led Southern Virginia in both points and rebounds, scoring 16, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line, while grabbing 13 boards.
Larissa Conger had a solid game off the bench for the Knights scoring 11 as the true freshman nearly connected on a 3-point attempt with 25 seconds on the clock that would have brought Southern Virginia within a single point of Apprentice.
The Shipbuilders' Courtney Collins led all scorers with 19 to go along with nine rebounds.
The Knights have more than a week off before hosting USCAA-affiliate Washington Adventist University on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m.
Watch a replay of tonight's game on the Southern Virginia Athletics broadcast portal.