Posted November 15, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

SU roundup: Hornets open season on high note

Daily Staff Report - sports@nvdaily.com

Shenandoah University opened up its 2012-13 in style Thursday evening with a 96-23 victory over visiting Patrick Henry in the opening round of the 2012 BB&T Tip-Off Classic.

The win is the first for SU (1-0) in a season opener since defeating Frostburg State 75-73 in the 2009-10 opener.

The Hornets will play Centenary (La.) in Friday's 8 p.m. championship. The Gents defeated Goucher 72-70 in the opening game of the tournament.

SU had no trouble with Patrick Henry (0-1), scoring the first six points of the contest and opening up 27-3 lead before the game was seven minutes old.

The bulge eventually reached 46 points, 57-11, by halftime as freshman Billy Brennan canned a 3-pointer just prior to the buzzer.

Brennan's 3-ball gave the bench 40 points in the first half.

Shenandoah coach Rob Pryor continued that theme in the second, sitting his five starters for the entire stanza and keeping at least four newcomers on the floor for the duration of the contest.

After shooting 62.2 percent (23 of 37) in the first, the reserves shot 51.6 percent (16 of 31) in the second as the squad coasted to the 73-point victory.

SU reached the 90-point mark with 7:33 remaining and worked the clock for the remainder of the contest.

All but one player scored at least two points for the Hornets. The one who didn't, freshman starter Shaquille Rodney, played just the initial six minutes of the game.

Freshman Will Baggett led the victors with 12 points while Jimi Starks had 11 and Corey Levenberry 10.

James Nelson had 14 points for the Sentinels.

The 73-point win breaks the program record for margin of victory by two. SU defeated Valley Forge Christian 124-53 on November 16, 2001. That game was also in the opening round of the BB&T Tip-Off Tournament.

The 23 points allowed breaks the modern era record of 41 given up to Eastern Mennonite on Nov. 26, 2002.

Women's basketball

Shenandoah University opened up the C.K. Calhoun era Thursday night with a 54-42 non-league women's basketball loss at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

The contest was close throughout until Wilkes (1-0) shut the Hornets out in the final 3:10 to pull away and clinch the victory.

SU (0-1) trailed 43-42 when the run started; the Hornets' final bucket turned out to be a Holly Chittenden layup at the 3:10 mark.

Shenandoah (0-1) scored seven of the initial 10 points of the game and had a 15-5 lead at the 12:38 mark, but saw the Lady Colonels score six straight points in a span of 55 seconds to get back into the contest.

Junior Crystal Petrus broke the Wilkes string with a 3-pointer at 10:40, but home team had another run itself.

The spurt, 10-2 from the 9:49 to 6:45 marks, gave the hosts a 21-20 lead.

The two teams were then with two points of each other for the remainder of the half.

Junior Sara D'Amico had the final bucket of the stanza, laying in a shot at the buzzer to send the two teams into the locker room tied at 23-23.

In the second, the margin stayed within four points until Wilkes pulled away with that final run.

SU shot just 25.0 percent (7 for 28) in the second half and saw the Colonels convert 15 Shenandoah turnovers into 12 points.

Petrus led the Hornets with 10 points, while freshman Imani Heggins added eight along with a team-high seven rebounds.

Shenandoah had a 39-38 advantage on the glass.

The Hornets are back in action on Saturday at the Dickinson Tournament.

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