Women’s Basketball: Highlanders Fall to Terps in first round of NCAA Tourney

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By Chad Boxley | cboxley@radford.edu

Mar. 23, the Radford University Highlanders (26-7) traveled to College Park, MD as they faced off against the Maryland Terrapins in the first round of the NCAA March Madness tournament.

The Highlanders came into the tournament as a 14 seed while Maryland came in at the number 4 seed.

By the time the game reached halftime, Radford still trailed Maryland 20 to 33, but the intensity that the Highlanders produced coming out of the break displayed that there was still fire lit inside them.As the game kicked off, the Terps (29-4) quickly soared out to a 16-2 lead by the 4:28 mark of the first quarter. The Highlanders got off to a sluggish start missing their first four field goal shots.

Although, the Highlanders did, in fact, respond with a 7-2 run as the first quarter concluded, but it wasn’t enough as they still trailed 9 to 18.

As the second period began, the Highlanders continued to fight back as they cut the defecate down to 6 points. The score read 18–12 with 9:41 left in the quarter.

By the time the game reached halftime, Radford still trailed Maryland 20 to 33, but the intensity that the Highlanders produced coming out of the break displayed that there was still fire lit inside them.

Khiana Johnson and Jen Falconer (5) vs Maryland.

The Terps went on to produce a 13-4 run towards the end of the third period which did put the game away. They ended up increasing leads by as many as 27 points, but the Highlanders still fought back.

Walker replied, “It felt great, and it definitely felt like new territory. It was fun being in front about 2000 people and I just wish I could have this opportunity again.”Redshirt junior Savanah Feldgemacher drained the Highlanders’ final bucket of the 2018-2019 season at the 3:16 mark in the final quarter. Shortly after her bucket, an emotional Feldgemacher checked out the game along with Rivers, Walker, and Johnson as the historic season eventually came to an end.

This contest snapped the 18 game win streak the Highlanders have held since Jan. 11.

Sydney Nunley Shooting a free throw vs Maryland.

Redshirt Junior Center Sydney Nunley dominated on the boards per usual as she snatched 13 rebounds, but sadly, she only played 18 minutes in a result of her early foul trouble.

Redshirt junior Lydia Rivers made her final appearance in a Highlander jersey as she produced 11 points and eight rebounds. Along with senior Khiana Johnson who also made her final appearance with the team adding 11 points, three rebounds and three steals from her guard position.

Senior guard/forward Destinee Walker produced a team high 15 points on the day. Sadly, the Florence S.C native also wore her #10 Highlander jersey for the last time, and she wore it humble and proud.

When asked how it felt playing in the tournament for the first time, Walker replied, “It felt great, and it definitely felt like new territory. It was fun being in front about 2000 people and I just wish I could have this opportunity again.”

This season will go down as one of the most successful in Radford Women’s basketball history.

Also, you can stay updated with the Radford University women’s basketball team as they head to the offseason. Follow them on Twitter or Instagram at ru_wbb, or like Radford Women’s Basketball on Facebook.

Lydia Rivers, Jen Falconer, Khiana Johnson (4) , and Sydney Nunley (50)
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Photo Credit: (Chad Boxley | The Tartan)