By Daniel Whitehead
BUENA VISTA, Va.—Despite a strong second half, the Southern Virginia University women's basketball team was defeated at home in its season opener to The Apprentice School by a 75-58 score Friday evening at Knight Sports Arena in Buena Vista, Va.
The Knights outscored Apprentice in the second half by seven points, 47-40, but could not overcome a 35-11 deficit at the half as the Shipbuilders went home victorious.
"What I was most pleased with is that we didn't give up and we kept fighting," said Southern Virginia head coach Michael Harmon. "We got knocked down in the first half but we never gave in and continued to play hard in the second half. It's a good way for our freshmen to learn. We just have to shoot better.
"Defensively, we played so-so, but we have to shoot better than we did tonight. The emphasis over the next few weeks will be to put the ball in the basket."
The Knights shot 19-for-57 from the field (.333) and also struggled from beyond the arc going 3-for-19 on three-pointers (.158). Southern Virginia also left points off the scoreboard with a combined tally of 17-for-37 from the free throw line.
Freshman Paige Crittendon led Southern Virginia with 13 points by shooting 4-for-7 from the field and 2-for-5 on three pointers. The Rexburg, Idaho, native also totaled six rebounds, two assists and four steals in 23 minutes of play.
Forward Shannon Romito provided 11 points for the team on 3-for-6 shooting and was strong from the free-throw line by going 5-for-7. Freshman guard Tatiana Monsen and sophomore center Crystal Cleveland each scored 10 points with freshman Morgan Hartvigsen contributing seven.
Apprentice guard Courtney Collins led the Shipbuilders with 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting while Danita Whitaker scored 16 points going 8-for-11 from the field. Shanae Hilliard was also a major force with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
The Knights next face Chatham tomorrow on a neutral court hosted by Eastern Mennonite University. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Harrisonburg, Va.