Men’s Basketball stays hot with three-game winning streak

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Taylor Newman

tnewman5@radford.edu

 

The Radford Men’s Basketball team closed out a third straight win to stay undefeated at home beating Hampton University on Wednesday, Nov. 28 in a 73-64 victory. Sophomore guard

Green led the Highlanders with a team high 22 points before a hometown audience of  1,723 at the Dedmon Center.

The start of the game saw both teams having scoring runs with the Hampton Pirates jumping out to a fast 5-0 start to the game, only to see the home team best that with their own 14-0 run to take a commanding lead. Sophomore guard R.J. Price provided an inside presence down low helping the Highs grow their lead to 31-13.

The lead slowly vanished as the stubborn Pirates went on an 11 point run to finish the half and cut the lead to a mere six points heading into the break. A continuing theme of the season has seen the Highs jump out to a big lead, only to see it vanish time after time. With a halftime score of 39-33, the Highs’ pattern continued.

“I think it was a lack of focus on our part,” said Green. “ When they were down they started playing really hard defense. We had to settle down and get back to being aggressive.”

Green went 5-5 in field goals and 2-2 in free throws in what ended as a perfect half for the young star, giving the Highs 12 points. Senior guard Blake Smith contributed six points, while also being a defensive force grabbing four rebounds.

Coming out of halftime, RU’s lead dwindled as the Pirates scored the first six points to tie the game at 39-39. RU struggled to make a basket

turning the ball over a staggering 20 total times in the game.

RU found comfort at the free throw line hitting 13-16. With the score tied, freshman guard Rashun Davis hit two free throws to grab a two point lead which RU would not relinquish again.

“I think our guys showed a lot of resolve when Hampton came back and tied the score,” said Head Coach Mike Jones. “We didn’t panic, but beared down and got some stops, and we were able to stretch the lead out again.”

Price padded the lead knocking down one of his five three-point baskets of the game to give the Highs a five-point edge with just over nine minutes left in the game.

Although HU was able to slide in to within four points of the Highs with a little less than eight minutes to play, Price delivered in the clutch to make back-to-back threes to push the lead to 10. Price finished with 17 points on the night, going 5 for 11 from deep.

Green lit up the crowd with big numbers in the ball game. Offensively, Green went 9-10 and defensively grabbed 10 rebounds to go with six steals, and two blocked shots. Already the steals leader in the Big South Conference, Green registered his second double-double of the early season.

Freshman guard Ya Ya Anderson added 10 points off the bench and sophomore forward Jalen Carethers had five rebounds.

“My teammates do a good job of giving me the ball,” Anderson said. “They have a lot of faith in me and know I am a pretty good shooter.”

RU will have a few days off to prepare for an away match up against Colonial Athletic Conference opponent Delaware University on Tuesday, Dec. 4. The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m.

“Hopefully the game against Delaware will be a war like last year,” said Jones.

Last season, the Highs defeated the Blue Hens in the first match of the year 58-54 in what was a grinding battle.