RADFORD, VA. – Radford survived a late rally by the Presbyterian College men’s basketball team, escaping with a 59-57 win Thursday night at the Dedmon Center. The Highlanders led wire-to-wire to improve to 13-16 overall and 8-9 in the Big South, while the Blue Hose fall to 5-23 and 1-16 in conference play.
Players of the Game
Reggie Dillard led the Blue Hose in the loss with 18 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. The redshirt-junior guard shot 6-of-15 from the field, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc, and converted 4-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Radford was paced by Ed Polite Jr.’s 15 points. He went 7-for-13 from the field and 1-for-2 from the charity stripe, adding two assists, two blocks, and two steals.
Stat of the Game
In the second half, Dillard scored 11 points and Darius Moore scored all 12 of his points to help the team fight back from a 13-point deficit. The Blue Hose outscored the Highlanders 37-29 in the second 20 minutes of action.
How It Happened
Radford started off with a Justin Cousin three-pointer. Randy Phillips then followed with a layup before Dillard put PC on the board. Polite made it a 7-2 Highlander lead with a follow-up dunk at the 15:51 mark. Radford came out of the 15:24 media timeout with another 5-0 run as Donald Hicks scored a jumper and a deep ball. The teams then traded long-range shots as Caleb Tanner answered a Will Adams three-pointer with one of his own. Adams got a jumper to fall and then earned a trip to the line as he was fouled attempting a three-pointer. The senior guard went 2-for-3 to trim the Radford lead to 15-9 with 10:39 to play in the first half.
The hosts scored another five unanswered as Polite made a basket and Justin Cousin connected from beyond the arc. Austin Venable got into the scorer’s column with a put-back. Ed Drew converted a pair of charity shots and then got the Blue Hose to within 20-15 as the senior forward made a quick move down low for the easy bucket. Devonnte Holland ended the 6-0 run as he made both of his shots from the line. Polite made an old-fashioned three-point play to push the Highlander lead back to double digits, 25-15 with 3:54 on the clock. After Cousin knocked down a trifecta from the left side, Dillard went 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. Polite scored a long two and Dillard beat the halftime buzzer with an 80-foot heave from Radford’s free-throw line. The teams went into the locker rooms with the Highlanders in control 30-20.
PC shot 6-of-23 (26.1 percent) from the field, 2-for-6 (33.3 percent) from beyond the arc, and 6-of-7 (85.7 percent) from the free-throw line in the first 20 minutes of action.
The second half started with Christian Bradford going 1-for-2 from the line and Polite scoring a dunk in rhythm. Adams answered with a long-range shot from the left side. Following a jumper by Cousin, JC Younger scored his first points as the freshman guard buried a three-point field goal from the right side. Drew went to line and shot 2-for-2 as PC trailed 35-28 at the 15:55 mark. Polite made a basket before Ruben Arroyo scored back-to-back shots to pull the Blue Hose to within 37-32 with 12:47 left in the game. Moore connected from beyond the arc to make it 37-35, but Radford answered in kind with a Tanner deep ball. Moore grabbed a steal and was sent to the charity stripe, with the sophomore guard converting 1-of-2 shots. Holland tipped in a score and Tanner made a free-throw as the Highlanders held on to a 43-36 lead at the 9:26 mark.
A Younger layup at the 8:09 mark got the Blue Hose back to within five, 44-39. Dillard followed with a score, but Radford did not want to surrender the lead as Polite got the slam. The Blue Hose continued to knock on the door as Dillard got a layup to fall, then answered a Radford three-pointer with one of his own as PC trailed 49-46 at the 3:40 mark. Radford came out of the final media timeout and made a three-pointer, but Dillard scored an old-fashioned three-point play in response. The teams continued the back-and-forth action as Moore connected from beyond the arc to make it 56-52 with 1:26 left in the game. Moore drained another trifecta to get PC to within 59-57. Dillard missed a three-pointer with :03 remaining and collected his own rebound, but could not get a shot off as Radford hung on for the 59-57 win.
- Also reaching double-digit scoring was Moore with 12 points and Adams with 10 points. Moore shot 4-for-5 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from long range, and made 1-of-2 charity shots. He added a pair of boards and two steals. Adams was 3-for-9 on the night, including 2-for-3 from deep, and converted 2-of-3 shots free-throws. He added a steal on defense.
- PC shot 19-of-50 (38.0 percent) from the field, 8-for-17 (47.1 percent) from beyond the arc, and 11-of-16 (68.8 percent) from the free-throw line.
- The Blue Hose held the advantage in points in the paint (20-16), points off turnovers (9-6), and bench production (18-13). The teams were tied in rebounds (36-36).
The Blue Hose wrap up the regular season at home against Winthrop on Saturday, February 25 in the Templeton Center. The Big South game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. ET start.