Women's Basketball Wins Conference Opener

Women's Basketball Wins Conference Opener

By Sam Armstrong

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – The Southern Virginia University women's basketball team won its fourth straight Saturday afternoon, defeating Penn State-Harrisburg 83-78 in the Capital Athletic Conference opener.

The Knights (4-0, 1-0 CAC) came out of the gates on fire, building a 14-5 lead in the first five minutes of the game and maintaining it throughout the rest of the half to take a 42-32 lead into the break. After an evenly-matched third quarter, the Lions (1-4, 0-2 CAC) battled their way back to cut the lead to just a bucket on two separate occasions. The Knights were able to stave off the comeback by hitting 11 of 15 foul shots in the quarter, as well as taking care of the ball, turning it over only three times.

The Knights stuck with their full-court pressure defense to force 24 turnovers by the Lions and ended up scoring 23 points off of those giveaways. Southern Virginia also took advantage of their opportunities at the charity stripe, shooting 80% (20-25) for the game, compared to just 47% (8-17) for Penn State-Harrisburg.

Coming off the bench and leading the team in scoring was junior guard Bryndie Ballam, who finished with 21 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals, as well as shooting 9-11 on free throws. Forward Katie Garrish posted another double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while point guard Cory Stout scored 14 points on just seven shot attempts to go along with four assists and three steals. 

Junior Nicole Muse hit three big shots from beyond the arc, and Shelby Butler finished in double figures with 10 points before leaving the game with an injury.

Southern Virginia takes the floor again on Wednesday as they travel Arlington, Virginia play Marymount University. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.