Tenacious Defense Leads Knights Past Shock

Photo by Justo Photography

Written by Chris Pendleton

BUENA VISTA, Va.—Led by its tenacious defense, the Southern Virginia University women's basketball team cruised past NCAA Division II Washington Adventist University 64-37 on Thursday in the Knight Sports Arena.

Southern Virginia (9-8) entered halftime with a 24-18 lead over Washington Adventist (4-13) after both teams struggled offensively during the opening half—the Knights shot 32.4 percent from the field during the first 20 minutes of play, while the visiting Shock connected on only 21.9 percent of their attempts. 

The Knights turned up their defensive pressure after the break, however, collecting 16 steals and forcing Washington Adventist into 21 turnovers during the final 20 minutes of action on route to a 27-point victory.

"The intensity was at a high level throughout the game," said 13-year Head Coach Mike Harmon. "Our defensive pressure led to some easy baskets in the second half, which got our offense going allowing us to pull away at the end."

Southern Virginia finished the game at 41.2 percent from the floor after shooting 50 percent in the second half. 

Rebounding also played a key role in Southern Virginia's victory over Washington Adventist as the Knights outrebounding the Shock 50-25 on the evening.

Senior Nicole Baker fueled the Knights on the glass grabbing a season-high 17 rebounds to go along with 13 points, while fellow senior, Cara Joyner, scored a game-high 15 points and grabbed nine boards.

Junior Amaris Newkirk also had nine rebounds in addition to 14 points, four steals and a team-high five assists.

Freshman Larissa Conger was the fourth Knight to reach double figures on the evening finishing 11 points, four assists, four steals and seven rebounds off the bench.

Women's basketball will have one day off before traveling to Bennett College on Saturday, Feb. 11 for a game at 2 p.m. Southern Virginia defeated Bennett 84-48 during the two teams' previous meeting on Jan. 28 in Buena Vista, Va.

Watch a replay of tonight's victory over Washington Adventist on the Southern Virginia Athletics online broadcast portal.