Radford Men’s Basketball Shocks the Nation by Defeating No. 17 Texas

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By Chad Boxley | cboxley@radford.edu

After coming back from a dominant 102 – 69 victory over the Glennville State Pioneers on Nov. 26, the Radford Highlanders men’s basketball team kept the momentum going as they once again defied the odds as they defeated the Texas Longhorns on the evening of Nov. 30.

Although the Longhorns coming into this battle are ranked number 17 in the nation’s top 25 college basketball teams, the Radford University men’s basketball team (6-1) are no strangers to impressive victories this season!

Notable senior forward Ed Polite Jr. leads the Highlanders to victory against the Longhorns totaling 11 points and six rebounds.

The Highlanders came into this game doubted by many with several complications facing them to achieve this victory, but they would not let that hold them back for one second.

Although the Highlanders trailed the entire first half, they never gave up and continued fighting back. By halftime, the eager Highlanders made it a nail-biter as the scoreboard displayed Radford with 33 points and the Longhorns with 34.

As both teams came into the second half fired up, this game had the fans in attendance watching on the edge of their seats.

The Radford Highlanders didn’t take their first lead until the 18:06 mark in the second half.

The second half didn’t consist of a lead higher than six points from either team and as the hard-fought second half carried on the Highlanders began to feel a spark as they held on to the Longhorns ever so closely.

This Contest Encountered Six Ties and 11 Total Lead Changes!

With 24 seconds left in regulation, the Highlanders trailed the Longhorns 58 – 59. Sophomore guard Carlik Jones then did what he does best and took control.

While Jones began displaying his remarkable basketball skills and IQ, he was then able to drive to the basket and score a tough bucket while drawing a foul from Texas senior guard Kerwin Roach ll.

Being the Big South freshman of the year in 2017-18 basketball season, Jones is surely no stranger to big shots. Jones hit a buzzer-beating three as time expired lifted the Highlanders over Liberty last season in the Big South Championship!

Following the successful basket and free throw attempt from Jones, the Longhorns would then gain possession and miss a three-point attempt as the scoreboard displayed Radford 61 and Texas 58.

The Highlanders iced the cake getting the rebound because it caused the Longhorns to foul, sending Devin Hutchinson to the free throw line where he made 1 of 2 attempts increasing the Highlanders lead to 62 – 58 with 11 seconds to go in regulation.

Throughout the game, Longhorns struggled severely from 3-point range as they shot a horrific 5-for-27.

Along with Polite’s 11 points forward, Mawdo Sallah shot an impressive 5 for 7 from the field recording 10 points as well.

Junior guard Travis Fields included an additional 10 points which placed three Highlander players in double figures to cap off the well-deserved victory.

The Highlanders have jumped out to a remarkable start as they now hold victories at Texas and at Notre Dame this season. Join the Radford University men’s basketball team as they will look to continue their exciting season when they travel to Harrisonburg Virginia Dec. 4 as they take on the James Madison Dukes at the JMU Convocation Center.

Photo Credit: (RU Athletics)