RADFORD, Va. – The Radford men’s basketball team overcame a 14-point deficit and defeated Longwood, 62-53, on Tuesday night inside the Dedmon Center. The win gave Radford its third straight victory and its fifth straight 2-0 start in Big South play.
Radford (3-4, 2-0 Big South) outscored Longwood 42-23 in the second half, but the final play of the first half is what ignited the spark.
With Longwood ahead 30-16, Josiah Jeffers threw up a 3-pointer in the corner as time expired in the first half. His shot went in and he was fouled. The junior knocked down the free throw for a four-point play. That cut the Longwood lead from 14 – its largest of the game – to 10 at the half. The Lancers shot 40.7 percent from the floor in the first half, compared to Radford’s 25.0.
Radford soared to a 10-5 run to open the second half and cut the 10-point lead to five with 15:12 to play. Minutes later, the Highlanders cut it to two, 41-39, with a dunk by Shaquan Jules. However, Longwood pushed the lead back to five with 8:30 to play in regulation.
Miles Jones knocked down a big 3-pointer just 23 seconds later and Fah’Mir Ali added five points with a layup and another 3-pointer. The 8-0 run gave Radford a 47-44 lead – its first of the game – with 6:46 to play in the game.
The Lancers regained the lead with just over four minutes left by way of a Juan Munoz layup. Then Ali connected on another 3-pointer and put Radford back on top, 52-50. That was his 14th point, which was tied for the game lead with the Big South Freshman of the Week, Justin Hill.
Radford ended the game on a 10-3 run with eight of its 10 coming from the charity stripe as the Lancers tried a couple of desperation fouls in the final minutes of the game.
The Highlanders committed 11 first half turnovers but only five in the second half. Radford forced Longwood into 19 turnovers for the game – 11 in the second half. Radford shot 48.1 percent in the second half and went 4-for-12 from long range.
Stat of the Game
Radford shot 79.2 percent from the free throw line during the 40 minutes of play – the highest of any game this season. The Highlanders scored 19 points from the charity stripe and 12 came in the second half. Longwood only took 11 free throws and converted just five.
Inside the Box Score
Ali went 5-for-13 from the floor and tallied 14 points, just one shy of his career-high. Chyree Walker led the Highlanders in rebounds for the sixth time this season. Quinton Morton-Robertson chipped in nine points, four rebounds and four steals with a perfect 5-for-5 night from the foul line. As a team, Radford shot 92.3 percent from the free throw line in the second half. The Highlanders had 29 bench points as Xavier Lipscomb, Jeffers and Jules tallied seven each. Longwood only scored 12 bench points.
“For the second night in a row it was a great college basketball game,” Mike Jones said. “You have to tip your cap to Longwood. They really came out and punched us in the mouth in the first half. They’re defensive intensity really put us on our heels but we were able to fight back. I thought we came out with great intensity for the first five minutes of the second half and put a lot of pressure on them.”
Radford will head to the Music City and take on SEC opponent, Vanderbilt on Saturday at 8 p.m.