Buccaneers unable to keep pace on the road at Radford

Buccaneers unable to keep pace on the road at Radford
Radford takes on Charleston Southern in Big South conference men's basketball action at Dedmon Center on Thursday, January 24, 2019 in Radford, Virginia. (Source: Jeff Sochko/timcowiephotography.com)

RADFORD, Va. - Radford took control midway through the second half and held off the visiting Buccaneers in the Dedmon Center on Thursday night, 86-78.

Charleston Southern (7-11, 1-4) shot 70.4% from the floor in the first half in holding the seven-point advantage at the break. The Buccaneers were hampered by second-half turnovers with the Highlanders scoring 14 points off eight CSU miscues in guiding the comeback.

Radford (15-6, 7-0) remained undefeated in Big South Conference play with the win over the Bucs. The Highlanders withstood a career-game from CSU sophomore forward Ty Jones in taking the conference win and avenging a loss in Dedmon Center to the Bucs last season.

Jones was 10-of-12 from the floor and converted both three-point attempts in scoring a career-high 23 points. Christian Keeling added 20 points and a team-high five rebounds, while Travis McConico (10) and Dontrell Shuler (10) were also in double-digits.

Polite Jr. paced the Highlanders with 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead five Radford players in double-digits. Travis Fields Jr. added 15 points, while Carlik Jones (13), Mawdo Sallah (12) and Caleb Tanner (12) all hit the double-digit mark for RU.

How It Happened

  • Radford held control of  the contest early behind a strong start from Ed Polite Jr. The senior  forward scored the Highlanders first seven points on the way to leading RU  to the early 9-4 lead.
  • The Bucs kept the  contest close throughout the first half with Duncan LeXander, Sean Price,  and Christian Keeling connecting on a trio of three-pointers to pull the  margin back within one at 19-18 with 12:23 left in the half.
  • Radford took its largest  lead of the first half at 31-24 on Devin Hutchinson's three-pointer with  8:31 remaining.
  • Trailing 38-33 following  a Devonnte Holland tip-in, Price drilled his second three-pointer of the  contest and Keeling followed with a jumper to tie the score up at 38-38 at  the 3:51 mark.
  • McConico gave the Bucs  their first lead of the contest with a driving layup and the and-1 and  Dontrell Shuler scored five of CSU's last nine points heading into the  break to give CSU the 50-43 lead.
  • CSU hit 11 of their last  12 shots heading into the break to take the seven-point lead. Included  during this run was a 3-of-4 mark from the three-point line.
  • Ty Jones already had a  season-high 14 points at the halftime break hitting 6-of-6 from the field  and converted his lone three-point attempt.
  • Jones continued to have  the hot hand at the start of the second half putting the Bucs ahead 52-45  in the first minute of the period with a turnaround jumper.
  • The Highlanders steadily  battled back with Polite Jr. tying the game up at 54-54 to cap a 9-2 run  with a layup off the assist from Carlik Jones.
  • Tanner's three-pointer  at the 12:39 mark swung the advantage to the Highlanders and his triple a  minute later gave Radford the 65-61 lead.
  • Radford's lead reached  double-digits at 79-69 with 5:37 to play on Mawdo Sallah's three-point  play.
  • The Bucs continued to  fight the remainder of the contest, but were unable to bridge the gap in  the conference loss.

Inside the Numbers

  • CSU shot a blistering  70.4% (19-of-27) from the floor in the first half with seven of their  eight misses coming from behind the arc. 
  • Seven different players  scored in the first half with six connecting on three-pointers over the  opening 20 minutes.
  • Radford took advantage  of 12 CSU turnovers in the game in scoring 21 points in the contest.
  • The Highlanders led in  bench points (23-9) and second chance points (13-8).
  • The Bucs shot 57.7% from  the floor in the contest (30-of-52).
  • The last 11 contests  between the two teams have been decided by single-digits dating back to  December 1, 2011.

Coach's Comments

"They're (Radford) very good. We've had lots of years where we've been very good as well. This game has been something that has been important to us and obviously to them as well. We have a lot of respect for Radford, they played really well, particularly in the second half. I thought that we got away from our fundamentals in the second half and need to continue to be disciplined and focus, even when things get tough. We have to keep working and get ready again for Saturday." - Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh.

Up Next

Charleston Southern returns home to the Buccaneer Field House on Saturday evening for a Big South Conference matchup against Gardner-Webb. Tipoff against the Runnin' Bulldogs is set for 5:30 p.m.