By Daniel Whitehead
ST. MARY'S CITY, Md.—Staying close through the opening 12 minutes, the Southern Virginia University women's basketball team allowed a late first-half run by host St. Mary's College of Maryland as the Seahawks earned an eventual 60-42 victory Saturday afternoon at O'Brien ARC Arena in St. Mary's City, Md.
The Knights (3-20) managed 31 percent (8-26) shooting from the floor during the first half when St. Mary's pulled away with a 47 percent (14-30) effort over the course of the opening 20 minutes. Southern Virginia was superior to the Seahawks in shot percentage during the second half by shooting 32 percent to St. Mary's' 30 percent, but it was not enough as the Seahawks maintained a comfortable lead throughout.
St. Mary's forced 25 Knight turnovers and converted them into 28 points on the other end of the court. The Seahawks had only three more offensive rebounds than the Knights, 14-11, but were able to double Southern Virginia's second-chance points by a 12-6 ratio.
Sophomore Crystal Cleveland led the Knights with 12 points on 5-15 shooting and earned seven rebounds as well as two blocks on the defensive end. Fellow sophomore Melynda Boren nearly had a double-double by totaling 10 rebounds and registering eight points on 4-12 shooting from the field. The Lund, Nev., native also earned an assist and three steals on the afternoon.
St. Mary's was paced by Shana Lewis' 14 points on 6-17 shooting, while Sophie Pruden and Marche Pearson earned respective point totals of 13 and 12. Center Myeisha Wallace poured in eight points toward the Seahawks achieving 32 points in the paint to the Knights' 24.
The Knights return home for their last home game of the year Wednesday night when they face Mary Washington. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Knight Sports Arena. As the event will be 15-year head coach Michael Harmon's final game at The Barn, a postgame commemoration of his accomplishments will take place moments after the game is completed.