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Carlik Jones shines with career day in victory over Hampton

Jones scored 33 points in the 83-79 win

Radford University basketball
Radford University basketball (WSLS)

RADFORD, Va. – In a game that featured three of the top Big South scorers, it was ultimately the Carlik Jones show as he carried Radford to an 83-79 victory over Hampton on Saturday.

The Cincinnati, Ohio native put up a career-high 33 points and notched his fourth double-double this season adding 10 assists – just one shy of tying a career-high. Jones set a career-high with 12 field goals made going 12-of-22 from the floor (54.5 percent).

He led the second half charge that eventually gave Radford the final lead of the game. After Hampton increased its lead to three, 37-34, hitting the first shot of the second half, the Highlanders went a timely 20-4 run that gave them a 54-41 edge with 13:55 to play.

During the run, Jones scored 10 of his 33, including eight straight. Devin Hutchinson chipped in a pair of 3-pointers and the big men, Devonnte Holland and Lewis Djonkam, added a bucket each. Radford only missed one shot during the run and it was a shot from distance. However, the Highlanders went 4-for-5 from the 3-point line during the stretch and 8-for-9 from the field.

All seemed well for the Highlanders, who kept a double-digit lead for a majority of the second half, and even led by as many as 15 with 7:11 remaining in the contest. However, Hampton’s potent offense can get itself back into any game.

The Pirates knocked down five 3-pointers in the final three minutes and cut a 12-point Highlander advantage to just four with 17 seconds left. Travis Fields, Jr. increased the lead to five after hitting a free throw, but Jermaine Marrow made a layup and cut it to a one-possession game with six seconds left.

On the ensuing possession, Fields Jr., was fouled just two seconds after the inbounds pass. He missed the first free throw attempt but connected on the all-important second, which made it a two-possession game. Marrow shot a consolation 3-pointer that was off the mark with one tick left on the clock. The ball landed out of bounds as time expired and the Highlanders found themselves back in the win column.

The first half was back-and-forth and saw six ties and six lead changes. Radford had to feel good holding a team that averages nearly 80 points a game to just 35 points in the half. The Highlanders had to feel even better to find themselves only down one-point after shooting 1-for-11 from 3-point range.

Both of Radford’s shooting percentages changed dramatically in the second half as the Highlanders nearly doubled their field goal percentage from 37.8 in the first half to 68.0 in the second. The biggest jump of all was the 3-point percentage, which increased by 57.6 percent. Overall the Highlanders shot 50 percent from the floor for the entirety of the contest.

Devine Eke, in his second straight start, was once again very close to a double-double. He contributed nine points and led the Highlanders with nine rebounds. He shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and has not missed a shot in his last 10 attempts.

STAT OF THE GAME

Jones was only eight points shy of totaling the same amount of points Ben Stanley (the conference’s leading scorer) and Marrow (the team’s leading scorer) recorded together. Stanley and Marrow combined for 41 points as Stanley led the Pirates with 23 and Marrow tallied 18.*Marrow has not played in 75 percent of the team’s games, which is the conference minimum to be ranked among league leaders.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

Radford played great team defense and held the Pirates to 41.8 percent from the floor and 29.2 percent from beyond the arc – both fewer than their season average. Fields Jr., notched another outing with 10-plus points as he picked up 11. Radford dominated with 42 points in the paint and tallied 12 points off Hampton’s 10 turnovers. The Highlanders only committed six turnovers, just one more than its season low of five against James Madison.

QUOTABLE

“First of all, it’s scary when you watch teams like the last three that we played with how good they are offensively and trying to figure out how to stop them,” Mike Jones said. “In this case you had two of the leading scorers in the country with both playing at a very high level. I thought for the most part, especially with (Jermaine) Marrow, that we did a good job of at least making him work. There wasn’t a lot that came easy for him and I thought we had a good game plan out of the gate frustrating him a little bit. Overall, I thought our defensive effort was good for 40 minutes.”

UP NEXT

Radford looks to build off the momentum with another Commonwealth clash at Longwood on Thursday night at 7 p.m.