Radford’s late run provides difference in 82-76 win over CSU
CHARLESTON, SC -
Radford's Javonte Green scored six of his career-high 33 points during a late 9-0 run to lead the Highlanders past Charleston Southern, 82-76, on Wednesday at the Buc Dome.
CSU (10-12, 4-5 BSC) led 66-62 following a Sheldon Strickland layup with 4:20 remaining, but did not score again until an Alhaji Fullah free throw at the 1:32 mark. Radford (15-9, 5-4 BSC) tallied nine straight points in between, starting with a Green jumper in the paint. Green added 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the year, while Ya Ya Anderson chipped in 16 points. The Bucs placed three players in double figures scoring, paced by Strickland's 17.
Green gave Radford the advantage for good with a two-handed dunk put back of a Price miss with 3:11 left. Anderson put home a runner in the lane to push Radford's lead to three, before Green capped the surge with a tip-in to move the Highlanders in front, 71-66. CSU could not come closer than four the rest of the way, as Radford hit 11-of-15 at the free-throw line down the stretch to prevail.
"Credit Radford," CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh said. "They played great. They played terrific. They came in here with a good game plan and they're a tough matchup for us. Radford executed well down the stretch and we weren't able to. It's something that we have to correct and we just have to keep plugging away and turn our focus toward VMI."
CSU senior Matt Kennedy scored 16 points on an efficient 6-of-10 shooting and Arlon Harper contributed 13 points in 22 minutes off the bench. The Bucs shot 51 percent for the game, but had trouble limiting Green and the Highlanders. Radford shot 59 percent from the field in the second half and 57 percent overall to snap CSU's five game series winning streak.
Neither side led by more than eight in a back and forth contest that featured five ties and nine lead changes. Fullah scored on an offensive rebound to give CSU the first points of the second half and put the Bucs up 39-37. Radford grabbed the advantage back, only to see Kennedy and Cedrick Bowen connect on jumpers to give the Bucs a 45-43 lead.
Radford eventually seized a 50-47 lead on another inside score by Green, but CSU answered with one of its better stretches of the night go ahead 57-53 on the strength of a 10-3 run. Harper began the mini-run with a jumper and added an offensive follow to bring the Bucs within a point. CSU tallied six straight points to end the stretch, as Kennedy, Bernard and Alhaji Fullah put in layups. Fullah finished on a impressive move, spinning to the middle of the paint to drop in a left-handed shot.
A Bowen layup off dribble penetration by Harper allowed CSU to take a 64-59 lead with 6:58 remaining, matching their largest advantage of the game. Radford's 9-0 run proved to be the difference, though, as CSU came up short in its bid to go back over the .500 mark in Big South Conference play.
Paul Gombwer scored the first points of the game with a layup at the 18:08 mark, but Radford answered with a 7-0 run. Price connected on a three-pointer from the left wing, while Green and Anderson both hit turn-around jumpers in the paint to put Radford up 7-2 with 16:09 to play.
The Highlanders' lead stretched to seven with 9:13 left as Price connected on a three, but Kennedy answered with CSU's first trey of the game to cut the deficit to 22-18. Charleston Southern narrowed the lead all the way down to two points at the 6:37 mark as Malcolm Bernard converted back-to-back layups. The sophomore forward darted in for a backdoor pass from Bowen for the first basket, before going coast to coast on the ensuing possession to bring CSU within two.
Back-to-back baskets by the Highlanders inside the paint put Radford ahead 30-24, but Kennedy jumpstarted an 11-0 CSU run with three free throws after getting fouled on a deep three-point attempt. Will Saunders followed with a catch three of his own from the left wing to tie the game, 30-30, with 4:40 to play in the period.
Strickland closed out the run with five consecutive points to put CSU up 35-30 for its largest lead of the half. Radford would score six straight points to answer the run with Green connecting on a tip-in with 46.5 seconds remaining on the clock to put the Highlanders in front, 36-35. Kennedy followed with a layup, and Green hit a free throw to close out the first half scoring with the game tied at 37-37.
CSU heads back on the road Saturday as it travels to Lexington, Va. to take on VMI. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.