RADFORD, Va. – Battle tested time and time again in close conference games this season, the Radford men's basketball team made winning plays when it mattered most to come away with a 69-66 victory over High Point at the Dedmon Center on Saturday afternoon.
With the Highlanders leading 59-56 and 25 seconds remaining on the clock in regulation, the Panthers got a huge 3-pointer from Jahaad Proctor to tie things up, but Carlik Jones had another chance at a buzzer-beater. The redshirt sophomore guard launched a jumper from the wing, but this time it wasn't meant to be and Radford entered overtime for the second straight game.
Radford went 5-for-6 from the free throw line in the extra period and Jones forced a turnover on High Point's final possession to seal another nail-biting win. The Highlanders improve to 18-7 overall and 10-1 in the Big South, keeping them atop the conference standings. High Point drops to 13-11 and 6-4.
Jones stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, but it was junior guard Donald Hicks that had the best performance. On a day when points were extremely hard to come by, he poured in a season-high 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting including four 3-pointers and four free throws.
Senior forward Ed Polite Jr. was flying around and leaping over everybody for the majority of the contest, pulling down a career high-tying 19 rebounds. Graduate center Mawdo Sallah was big too with three crucial blocks on the defensive end.
Saturday's contest was the exact opposite of the game at Hampton on Thursday in nearly every way. After scoring 101 points and making shots seemingly at will, the Highlanders went 7-of-34 (20.6%) from the floor in the first half. Luckily their shooting improved immensely in the second half and they went 12-of-28 (42.9%).
A 15-0 advantage in points off turnovers, a 19-9 advantage in bench points and a season-low four turnovers were all vital keys to success in the end.
Proctor led all scorers with 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting while Brandonn Kamga (14) and Jordan Whitehead (10) joined him in double figures.