Radford University scores first victory over ACC opponent

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Article written by Michael Marzzacco.

On December 7th 2014, the Radford men’s basketball team won their biggest game in school history as they came back to defeat New River rival, Virginia Tech in Cassell Coliseum.  Even though Virginia Tech basketball has been having a bad season this was still a huge win for Radford for bragging rights in the area.  It was also RU’s first win against an ACC school.  We caught up with some students to give their take on the historic victory.

Virginia Tech has everything it seems like, from a football team to Chipotle and Radford is like a little brother to Tech.

“Being Radford, we’re always the underdog and to beat a team like Tech who is in the ACC, is huge for our school because it drives the school spirit through the roof,” said Brendan Smith. “I think once we get recognition, Radford students will get behind it and I think wins like that matter to the school.”

While some students were lucky enough to be at the game, others watched the entire game on ESPN 3. Freshman Matthew Leibovitz was one of the students that got to watch the whole game.  “I know a lot of people got excited that we beat such a big school and it was the first time we beat an ACC school and it made our rivalry with Tech even bigger,” said Leibovitz.

During the game, the Highlanders trailed by six in the final two minutes but came all the way back on an 8-0 scoring run to win the game 68-66.  Senior R.J. Price scored the go-ahead bucket with 27 seconds remaining off a steal to give the Highs the 68-66 win.

“I think for the university as a whole, it was a very big win since it was our second time winning against Virginia Tech in a long time for Radford basketball history.  It was a good win for our men’s basketball team to give them guidance and encouragement to continue to do well this season and to finish strong,” said Morgan Sumner.

With a win like this, now Radford students have something to be proud of when talking about their school, especially to their Tech peers.  “It was a really big win, them being one of our biggest rival schools.  It really hyped up the students a lot and the team.  It was a really important win and definitely motivated everybody to come out to the games more often,” said freshman Kyle Thompson, “Up until we play them again, we have 100% bragging rights.”

The Highlanders look to ride this momentum throughout the rest of the season.  Wins like the one they had against Virginia Tech is something that players and students alike will cherish forever.

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