BUENA VISTA, Va. - It was a tale of two halves.
After trailing by 15 at the half, EMU outscored host Southern Virginia 38-26 in the second half, but couldn't come all the way back as the Knights picked up a 78-75 win.
- SVU scored the first four points of the game, keeping EMU off the board until the 16:09 mark. Mark Burkholder got the Royals on the board first and cut into the Knights lead.
- A Southern Virginia three put them ahead 7-2 but EMU stormed back with a Chris Simmons layup and a Tim Jones bucket and one. SVU re-took the lead a few minute later but another Jones basket and a three from Aviwe Mahlong put the Royals on top 12-10.
- The Knights would then go on a 13-0 run behind some hot three-point shooting to take a 23-12 lead midway through the half. It seemed like everytime EMU would gain some momentum, an SVU three would grab it back for the Knights. With just under seven minutes left in the half, and SVU leading by 12, a DaiJordan Brown layup cut into the Knight lead. But SVU would respond and finish the half on a 20-15 run and take a 15-point lead into the break. For the half, SVU shot a blistering 60% from the field and 50% from three.
- The Knights made three threes to start the second half and push their lead to 22. Then the Royals defense clamped down and the comeback started.
- With SVU leading 61-39 at the 18:43 mark, EMU held the Knights scoreless for almost four minutes. In that stretch, EMU was able to cut the lead down to 14 with baskets from Burkholder, Simmons, Mizz Nyagwegwe, Jones and Michael Watlington.
- The two teams traded buckets, with SVU leading 66-51. But a Mahlong three and baskets from Watlington, Nyagwegwe, Julien Hagerman and Jones cut the lead to eight. After an SVU jumper, Burkholder nailed a three to narrow the lead to seven with just over six minutes to play.
- In the final three minutes, EMU went on a 4-0 run, pulling within one at 74-75. But a Knights bucket put the lead back to three. A Landon Swingler free throw cut the lead to two but that was as close as the Royals would get as they were held scoreless in the final minute.
- Jones led the charge for EMU putting up 17 and dishing out eight assists. Watlington, making his collegiate debut, finished with 13 and Burkholder added 10.
EMU will be back on the road Saturday when they head to Danville for a matchup with future-ODAC foe Averett. Tip off is scheduled for 2 pm.