RADFORD, Va. – After falling to No. 3 Campbell, 78-60, in Thursday’s Big South Semifinal game, the Radford men’s basketball team solid 2020-21 season came to an end.
No. 2 Radford saw great performances by Fah’Mir Ali and Bryan Hart as the two combined for 35 of the 60 points. Ali kept the team within striking distance in the first half with 16 points and Hart caught fire in the second half with 13. He ended the night with a career-high 16 points.
The Highlanders finished the game with a 42.9 3-point percentage, with Ali and Hart knocking down seven of the nine. Dante Moses and Quinton Morton-Robertson hit the other two. Radford also shot 40.4 from the floor, but was bested by Campbell’s 58.8 percent.
Even though Ali went 4-for-4 from the 3-point line in the first half, Campbell shot 55.6 percent from the floor and from beyond the arc. The Highlanders had the lead in the early going but a 12-0 run by the Camels pushed their lead to 11 points, 18-7, midway through the first half. Radford was able to cut the deficit to single digits a few times in the first half, but Campbell took a 12-point advantage into the locker room at the break.
Campbell’s lead never dipped below double digits in the second half. However, the Highlanders scampered to an 8-0 run in a minute’s time around the 13-minute mark but that only cut the lead to 11. Moments later Campbell pushed the lead to 22 points with an 11-0 run. The Camels used strong shooting in the second half to push the lead to a game-high 24 points.
It was the Highlanders’ 21st time in program history making it to the Big South Conference Semifinals and seventh as the No. 2 seed. Radford was looking for its third championship appearance in four years.
Ali had a great first half with five made field goals, but the Highlanders totaled seven (7-of-19) through the first 20 minutes. On the other end, Campbell hit 15 field goals in the first half (15-of-27).
Radford’s bench outscored Campbell’s 34-15 but the Camels led in points in the paint, 34-18. Ricky Clemons was tied with Ali for the game’s most points at 19. Joshua Lusane went 5-for-5 with a pair of 3-pointers en route to a 14-point, eight rebound night. Jordan Whitfield added 11 points and Cedric Henderson Jr., tallied 10.
“I was really impressed with how Campbell played all game long,” Radford head coach Mike Jones said. “I thought their veteran players really did a great job of playing with a lot of intention, will and confidence right from the beginning. They really put us on our heels and never let up. We gave up an uncharacteristic amount of smack-the-backboard layups, which obviously hurts. The most disappointing part was that they were able to beat us on the glass. At the end of the day, there’s certainly a lot to be proud of with our team this year. Unfortunately, it ends with a game and a performance like this. We did not play well but a lot of that credit goes to Campbell.”