Men’s basketball keeps up inconsistent play

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by Colleen McNickle | cmcnickle@radford.edu

Radford men’s basketball quickly recovered from their mid-week loss to Gardner-Webb by defeating Longwood at home. Two double-doubles from Ed Polite, Jr. highlighted the individual performances for Radford.

On Wednesday, the Highlanders (12-16, 7-9 Big South) fell to the Runnin’ Bulldogs (15-13, 8-7) 70-59. The win, however, was never out of reach for the Highlanders, they just could not close the gap. The game was turbulent to start; however, the Highlanders gave control to Gardner-Webb late in the first half after a string of turnovers led to an eight-point run for Gardner-Webb. After the Runnin’ Bulldogs got up to a double-digit, lead the Highlanders could not rein it in to win the game. Gardner-Webb led the game in field goal percentage with 48.9%, three-point percentage with 38.5%, free throw percentage with 59.4% and steals with 11. This domination in both the offensive and defensive categories fed into their victory. Turnovers also doomed Radford, who coughed up the ball 22 times. Polite finished the matchup with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

On Saturday, the Highlanders recovered from their loss againsGardner-Webb with a triumph over the Longwood Lancers (6-21, 3-13) at home. The Highlanders won the game in the final minutes after a hotly contested match up. There was no shortage of lead changes in the competition and it wasn’t until Radford made a late-game run sealed off by junior guard Christian Bradford with 26 seconds left, making the final score 79-72. In this Virginia state rivalry, to Virginians made a splash. Freshman Donald Hicks from Chesapeake had a team-high of 19 points while his teammate, sophomore Caleb Tanner of Floyd had seven points. Other notable scorers were Polite with 18 points and 10 rebounds to complete his double-double, and junior Christian Bradford with 13 points. “It’s a great win for our team. It’s very difficult to play a team that had lost a bunch of games in a row. They’re coming in very hungry.” said Radford Head Coach Mike Jones. “Games like this really help you grow as a team.”

The Highlanders travel to Presbyterian on Thursday, Feb. 23 for a 7 p.m. tip off their final home game of the season at the Dedmon Center. They then close out the regular season schedule with a trip to Campbell University on Saturday. Tip off from Buies Creek, N.C. is set for 4:30 p.m.

Ed Polite, Jr. collected two double-doubles in last week’s men’s basketball action. Courtesy of Radford Athletics
Ed Polite, Jr. collected two double-doubles in last week’s men’s basketball action. Courtesy of Radford Athletics