Baker, Conger Lead Knights to First-Round Win

Photo by Justo Photography
Photo by Justo Photography

Written by Chris Pendleton

UNIONTOWN, Pa.—Four different Knights reached double figures as the Southern Virginia University women's basketball team grabbed its first postseason win since 2009 cruising past Berkeley College-NY 73-55 in Wednesday's opening-round matchup at the USCAA national tournament.

Senior Nicole Baker (Burley, Idaho) lived up to last night's All-American selection scoring 21 points, while grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season.

Freshman Larissa Conger (Merino, Colo.) was also stellar in her first start of the season scoring a career-high 21 points on a scorching 8-of-13 from the floor tying Baker for the game-high point total. Conger also had three steals and three assists in her breakout performance.

Junior Amaris Newkirk nearly finished with a triple double scoring 12, while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out six assists for the Knights, while senior Cara Joyner added ten points and five boards in the victory.

Southern Virginia never trailed during Wednesday's wire-to-wire victory over Berkeley, jumping out to a 17-point lead by half before eventually winning by 18.

The Knights defense forced Berkeley into 27 turnovers leading to 27 points for Southern Virginia.

"Everything came together tonight," said thirteen-year head coach Mike Harmon following the victory. "Our offense and defense was in sync and it was a great game to coach. I am so happy for the ladies as their hard work paid off in the first round."

Women's basketball is seeking its third USCAA national title under Harmon with the most recent championship coming in 2006. The Knights also placed second in 2009 and seventh at last year's tournament.

Southern Virginia has 24 hours to rest before facing Selma University tomorrow, Mar. 8 at 9:30 p.m. EDT.