BUENA VISTA, Va.—Despite a quick 7-2 lead to open the game and tied at 11 apiece midway through the first half, the Southern Virginia University women's basketball team fell to visiting Averett University by an 80-52 score Saturday evening at Knight Sports Arena in Buena Vista, Virginia.
Sophomore guard Morgan Hartvigsen hit a quick three just 12 seconds in before freshman Tavane Afatasi upped the lead to 5-2 on a short jumper. With the game tied at 11 with just over 13 minutes in the first half, the Cougars built a 19-13 lead over the next three minutes and turned it into a 29-19 lead with five minutes before the half.
Going into the half with a 43-23 deficit, the Knights could not find the firepower in the second half to overcome the disadvantage as Averett went on to achieve the victory.
Freshman Marissa Belliston and junior Melynda Boren led the Knights with 10 points each while senior Ann Kuroki poured in nine. Junior center Crystal Cleveland finished with eight points while Afatasi and Hartvigsen each had six.
Belliston went 5-8 from the field and led the team with six assists throughout. Boren scored five of nine shots and had the second-most rebounds from the game with nine. She also had an assist and a steal in the loss.
The Cougars were instrumental in getting to the free-throw line, scoring 19 points from the stripe for 70 percent. The Knights had just nine attempts, converting four. The Knights also committed 33 turnovers to the Cougars' 19, resulting in 33 points off turnovers for Averett.
Averett also utilized a deep bench as the Cougars earned 27 points from the bench to the Knights' 13.
Ariana Covington and Brianna Taylor each had 17 points in the win for the Cougars. Jonna Koski also had 16 points
The Knights return to action Wednesday, Nov. 19, with a home matchup with nearby Washington & Lee University. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at Knight Sports Arena.