Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University women's basketball team rallied from a 12-point deficit on Tuesday night to pull out the 48-45 victory over the Virginia University of Lynchburg in front of a ruckus home crowd.
"It was one of those games toward the end that could have gone either way," said fourteen-year Head Coach Michael Harmon. "I'm proud of my players for hanging in there for all 40 minutes in a heated and tense environment."
With eight lead changes in the first twenty minutes of the ball game, both teams struggled to put the ball in the basket throughout the first half as Southern Virginia (7-5) hit 29.4-percent of its shots while Virginia-Lynchburg (13-8) made 25-percent of its baskets.
The Dragons, however, went on an 8-2 run in the final 4:32 before intermission to take a 22-16 lead over the Knights at the half.
After falling behind by 12 (30-18) three-plus minutes after the break, Southern Virginia went on its own run outscoring the visiting Virginia-Lynchburg 19-4 on route to earning a 37-34 lead—the Knights first lead in the second half—following four straight free throws by senior Amaris Newkirk (Folsom, N.M.).
Newkirk had a game-high 20 points and 6 rebounds, including netting 11 of 12 free throws on the night.
The final 8:30 of the contest consisted of five ties and five lead changes until freshman guard Georgia Logan (Buena Vista, Va.)—who recorded five points, three boards and a block off the bench—hit a free throw with 43 second left to give Southern Virginia its final lead on route to the three-point win.
Freshman center Crystal Cleveland (Delran, N.J.)—the only other Knight to score double digits— recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and senior forward Abigail Logan (Buena Vista, Va.) finished with seven points and five boards.
The Dragons were led on the evening by forward Ebony Ellis, who recorded her own double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
"After settling down in the second half, we created opportunities to get to the free throw line and did a better job of reducing our turnovers," said Harmon.
Southern Virginia held an advantage at the charity stripe going 25-for-38 from the line in comparison to Virginia-Lynchburg that went 5-for-9 from the free throw line. The rebound battle was fairly even as the Dragons outrebounded the Knights 41-40 Tuesday night.
Women's basketball has little time to rest traveling to Lynchburg, Va., to face NCAA Division III Randolph College on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m.