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Women’s basketball splits Big South results

by Jason Blocker |

The Radford women’s basketball team allowed Presbyterian to climb back from a five-point, fourth quarter deficit to lose 58-54 at the Templeton Center last Tuesday night. Brilliant shooting displays from Destinee Walker and Jayda Worthy were not enough to overcome a late Blue Hose rally.

Walker and Worthy came out of the gates on fire, scoring 13 of the Highlanders’ first 18 points to take a commanding 18-3 lead midway through the first quarter. However, Presbyterian responded with a 10-2 rally of their own, before both teams met brutal cold streaks in the second quarter. The Highlanders led 25-21 at the intermission.

It took only three minutes into the second half for the Blue Hose to further the drama. Presbyterian used a deep three-pointer and fast-break layup to bring them within one point of the Highlander lead. The teams proceeded to get hot and cold at the same times, leading to a 42-40 Radford lead in the third quarter. With time running down on the clock, Destinee Walker beat the third quarter horn with a three-point buzzer-beater to extend Radford’s lead 45-40.

Presbyterian used a combination of team basketball and accurate open shots to make a fourth quarter statement. Draining a three-pointer with 5:20 remaining, Presbyterian guard Salina Virola added two more layups to give the Blue Hose a 49-45 lead over Radford.

Walker used her mamba mentality and looked to prey upon the Blue Hose chances of stealing a win. With a clutch three-pointer and mid-range jumper, Walker brought Radford within one with just over a minute left to play. Unfortunately, the last minute was a free-throw shootout, with Walker and Khiana Johnson missing shots down the stretch. Despite shooting exactly 50% from the field—Presbyterian only shot a measly 38%—the Highlanders lost only their second Big South contest of the season.

Radford looked to bounce back in the Dedmon Center on Saturday, where they continued home dominance in a 74-49 whacking of Winthrop University. The Highlanders used a delivery of dimes to decimate the Eagles, tallying up a season-high 17 assists.

Similar to the Presbyterian game, the Highlanders got out to a scolding-hot start. Scoring a whopping 27 points in the first quarter, Radford looked to be the more talented and prepared Big South team. The Eagles made a noteworthy attempt at a comeback in the second quarter, making an 11-4 run of their own. Luckily, the shots kept falling for the Highlanders, giving them a 37-22 lead going into halftime.

Radford added to a 6-0 run they were working on in the first half, adding eight more unanswered points to begin the second half. Incredible shooting performances by Walker and Claudia Quevedo continued in the second half, while things just got uglier for the Eagles. Never cutting the margin to within 10, Winthrop never saw the light of day in this contest. Radford ended up holding on for a 74-49 win over the Eagles.

This game continued Radford’s dominance at home. In Dedmon this season, the Highlanders are an astounding 9-0 this season. They are currently tied for first place atop the Big South with an 8-2 conference record.

Radford will next travel to Liberty, where the team has struggled in years past. Tuesday’s matchup with the Flames is set for 7 p.m., with the Highlanders then returning home for a Saturday afternoon game against Charleston Southern. Tip-off against the Buccaneers is set for 2 p.m.

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