Highlanders Win Big in Home Opener

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Lucas Carr | lcarr15@radford.edu

Radford’s men’s basketball team won by a margin of more than 50 points in their home opener against Bridgewater College last week.

In an out of division match up, every Highlander that stepped on the court had at least two points that aided them to end the game with a score 91-40.

The Highlanders went into the locker room with a first-half score of 41-24, seemingly in control of the game after going on a 25-8 run. Not even 30 seconds from the jump ball, Leroy Butts IV opened up Radford’s scoring by knocking down a corner three. Carlik Jones and Travis Fields Jr. continued the fast start following a steal, in which Jones threw up a quick alley-oop pass to Fields for the score.

The Eagles tied the game at 16 with some early first half, solid three-point shooting. However, during the Highlander scoring run, they shot 10 for 16 from the field backed by stellar defensive play to set up the scoring.

As the first half fell under three minutes, the Highlanders stole the ball from the Eagles on three consecutive possessions that all resulted in points.

In the first, Jones stole the ball on the in-bounds play, pump-faked, and laid the ball off the glass. Jones stole it on the opposite end of the court, raced down the sideline and was fouled on his shot that ended in a three-point play.

On the third possession, sophomore Josiah Jeffers snagged a pass out of the air and converted a layup for himself. Solid Radford defense closed out the first half with a commanding lead.

The offensive spectacle didn’t cease to persist during the second half as it was opened up by another dazzling three-point shot from Fields.

Jones followed by saying he could do that too, sinking a three from the right-wing. The Highlanders held the Eagles scoreless in the first five minutes of the second half, forcing their second shot clock violation of the game.

The Highlanders scored 50 more points in the second half, shooting 56.3 percent from the field, with 24 of those points coming from behind the arc. Devin Hutchinson was instrumental with the high volume of three-point shots knocked down by the Highlanders and finished with 17 points by shooting 4-7 from the three-point line.

Offense was not the only stout part of Radford’s game as they held Bridgewater to only 16 points on 16 percent shooting in the second half. Radford forced 22 total turnovers throughout the game and was one rebound short off tallying 50 boards as a team.

Graduate Transfer Devine Eke recorded the Highlanders’ first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, proving to be a dominating inside presence. Jones finished with 20 points, seven assists and four steals. Fields also ended with a double-digit scoring night, adding 10 for himself.

An honorable mention goes to freshman Miles Jones, son of head coach Mike Jones, who saw playing time in the second half. He scored his first collegiate points off of a nice drive to the bucket from the left corner and sank the ball off the glass for two. The Radford faithful responded with an eruption of cheers.

The Highlanders will hit the road for a handful of games for matchups against Northwestern, Bradley University and Monmouth. Their next matchup against Bradley will take them to Illinois Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. The Highlanders will not return to the New River Valley and the Dedmon Center until Dec. 4 when they host James Madison.

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Photo Credit: (Radford Athletics)