The Southside Virginia Community College mens basketball team ended the regular season with an 88-84 victory over visiting Bryant & Stratton College (MIT) on Sunday afternoon.
The win was the sixth in a row and 12th in the last 14 games for the local team and improved the Panthers to 12-9 on the season.
The two-time defending USA National Postgrad Champions will begin defense of their title against New York International at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in North Myrtle Beach, SC.
“We certainly hope we are peaking at the right time,” said SVCC coach Dennis Smith. “After starting off 0-7 against a rugged schedule, our guys have really picked it up during the second half of the season. We are hoping to make a good showing at the national tourney and I know our young men are excited for the opportunity.”
SVCC played four games against NJCAA teams that were ranked in the national Top 10 during the regular season as well as a number of top Postgrad programs.
“I am hoping our tough schedule will pay dividends this week,” said Smith.
On Sunday, SVCC jumped out to a 19-10 lead on a reverse layup by Kirvell Alexander at the 9:55 mark of the first quarter.
A layup by Naquan Jordan thirty seconds later gave the local team a 21-12 lead.
A bucket by JC Stewart at the 6:37 mark gave SVCC a 27-20 lead but the Bobcats closed the first half on an 18-10 run to take a 38-37 lead to the halftime break.
A bucket by Na’Jawuan Davis at the 15:52 mark of the second half gave SVCC a 48-47 lead.
SVCC opened up some breathing room on a trey by Anthony Harris and buckets by TJ Durham and Stith for a 76-66 lead at the 4:06 mark on the way to the victory.
Alexander led SVCC with 25 points and seven rebounds while Stith scored 19 points and added seven rebounds and seven assists.
Stewart finished with 15 points and seven rebounds while Durham scored 15 points and added seven rebounds and five assists.
Davis led SVCC with 10 rebounds in the contest.
SVCC……37 51 - 88
B&S……..38 46 – 84
SVCC – Harris 8, Stith 19, Alexander 25, Jackson 2, Stewart 15, Davis 2, Durham 15, Jordan 2.
B&S MIT – Adams 10, Washington 19, Griggs 14, Yarborough 6, Pendergraft 2, Toller 8, Frith 4, Griggs 2, Palmer 7, Rogers 12.