Radford Beats Presbyterian for Sixth Straight Win

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Lucas Carr | lcarr15@radford.edu

The Radford Men’s basketball team tallied their sixth win in a row after defeating the Presbyterian Blue Hose this past Thursday.

Behind Devin Hutchinson’s and Carlik Jones’ 17 points, as well as Devine Eke’s double-double, the Highlanders came out victorious.

Radford (16-9, 11-2 Big South) was without Head Coach Mike Jones for suspension with undisclosed reasoning.

However, the Highlanders are now one game away from tying for first alongside Winthrop in the Big South Conference as Assistant Coach Ron Jirsa took over for one game.

With Hutchinson tying his career-high in points against the Blue Hose, they are one step closer to moving into sole possession of the first place mark. Hutchinson came off the bench to jump-start the Highlanders to an 11-2 run, shooting 4-of-7 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from behind the arc.

The Highlanders crashed the boards all night, securing 34 total rebounds to Presbyterian’s 23. Eke was an integral part of those statistics on the offensive and defensive end of the court.

Eke corralled ten of his own boards and limited the Blue Hose from more. Eke paired his ten rebounds with ten points, making this his second double-double of the season.

Donald Hicks also had a few three-pointers in his back pocket, which led the Highlanders holding on to the lead going into the locker room at the end of the first half. He finished with 11 points from three 3-pointers and two free throws made in the second half. The half time score read 38-35.

While Jones got off to a slow start in the first half with only two points, he didn’t hesitate to begin the offensive side of things in the second. He opened the second half scoring by sinking two free throws after being fouled hard on an attempt at the basket.

The run escalated after that as the Highlanders held the opposition to just six points well over almost ten minutes into the second half of play.

A scary moment occurred when Jones was fouled hard going up for a layup. He was slow to get up on the baseline and managed to get himself to the free-throw line. Still grimacing with pain at the line, he missed both free throws, which is an uncommon sight for Jones.

Jones seemed to recover quickly; however, he was fouled again on a seemingly monster dunk but made both free throws. Jones finished the game with 17 points.

Radford jumped out to an 11 point lead from that point on, and the lead never dropped below eight. Presbyterian was just unable to recover from the deficit. The final score was 81-71.

As we get deeper into conference play, we will look to see if the Highlanders can sneak into the top spot of the Big South. They will have some important games coming up into the Big South Championship. They have a good shot at going dancing in the NCAA March Madness Tournament again this year.

The Highlanders are returning to the Dedmon Center to face UNC Asheville this Thursday, Feb. 20. The game will be televised on ESPNU and is scheduled for 9:00 p.m.

If you enjoyed this article, check out the Highlanders win over Charleston Southern on The Tartan.

Photo Credit: (Radford Athletics)