BUENA VISTA, Va. — The Southern Virginia University women's basketball team knocked off No. 25 (D3Hoops) No. 16 (WCBA) Christopher Newport for the first time in school history including its first-ever victory over a nationally ranked team to carry on their 13-game win streak and remain undefeated in conference play with a 58-54 win.
Wednesday evening's game marks the 11th time the Capital Athletic Conference foes have faced off against each other. The Knights (14-1, 5-0) entered with a 0-10 record against the Captains (12-4, 3-2) with the closest prior game a 20-point loss.
"What a great win for our program and for Southern Virginia University," said head coach Adam Wardenburg. "We played a great team tonight and knew that we had to play great for 40 minutes— and we did. Offensively, we struggled to get into a rhythm early, but we kept attacking the basket and figured things out."
Katie Garrish, Alexus Barnes, and Savanna Christensen anchored the Knights offense in the first quarter scoring all 14 points. Southern Virginia ended the quarter trailing the Captains 18-14 with both teams shooting 35.3 percent from the floor.
Garrish fell into foul trouble early in the second quarter limiting her time on the floor. Senior Bryndie Ballam stepped up for the Knights pouring in eight points for the quarter.
The Captains edged out the Knights once again in the second consecutive quarter outscoring Southern Virginia 15-14 to head into the half leading 33-28.
The Knights elevated defense in the third quarter restricted the Captains offense, holding them to just 11.1 percent shooting. The Knights headed into the final quarter down five, 43-38.
"Our defense won the game tonight," said Wardenburg. "We held them to 21 points over the last 25 minutes of the game. We switched things up defensively in the 2nd quarter that helped us get going."
In the final quarter, Southern Virginia's offense caught fire, outscoring Christopher Newport 20-11. The Knights shot 47.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc. Garrish and Barnes led the Knights in the fourth with Garrish scoring six points and grabbing eight boards and Barnes adding nine points.
Barnes season-high 19 points led all scorers, shooting 9 of 15 with six rebounds and four assists. Garrish earned her ninth consecutive double-double with 15 points, 12 rebounds and a game-high four blocks while teammate Cory Stout led the team in assists with five.
"We need to keep getting better continuing to take it one day at a time. We are a special group and have to keep believing in each other and realize how good we can be," said Wardenburg.
The Knights hit the road as they face St. Mary's (Md.) Saturday, Jan. 19 at 2:00 p.m.