Longwood men’s basketball rally falls short against Radford

Published 8:18 pm Saturday, February 24, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Radford was lights out early against Longwood men’s basketball, and a late Lancer (17-12, 5-9 Big South) rally came up just short in an 88-82 loss on Saturday afternoon.

DaQuan Smith hit a three for the Highlanders (15-14, 5-9 Big South) with a hand in his face on the opening possession, and Radford proceeded to make a season-high 13 triples on the day.

Smith subsisted on a steady diet of tough threes early, and he had a career best six triples en route to 21 points. He was one of five Radford players in double figures.

Email newsletter signup

Meanwhile, Walyn Napper paced Longwood with 21 points of his own, and nine players scored for Longwood for a second straight game. Michael Christmas added 17 points, including 12 after halftime as the Lancers made a run, and Elijah Tucker chipped in 13 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. 

“While I was proud of the guys for continuing to play til the end, we neither competed nor executed at the level we needed to be successful,” said Longwood Head Coach Griff Aldrich. “Today was not the same version of the Lancers that we have seen over the past weeks in terms of purpose and urgency. This bunch has been resilient – so I’m confident we will see a better version of ourselves this coming week.”

Breaking down the game

Radford led wire-to-wire, although Longwood made it interesting. Napper keyed Longwood early with nine of the team’s first 11 points, but Radford simply willed in tough three after tough three. 

The two sides traded blows back and forth, and both teams shoot better than 55 percent from the deck in the opening 20 minutes.

Ultimately, though, Radford’s 9-12 shooting from three, with many of them tough looks from Smith and Kenyon Giles, who had 17 points, put the home side up 10 at the half.

The hot shooting continued for Radford early in the second half as the lead grew to 18.

Finally, Radford cooled and Longwood started to creep back into the game. Christmas, Tucker and Napper led the charge, but eight different players scored after halftime.

Tucker scored six points amid a 15-5 run that saw Longwood trim the Radford lead to eight, 72-64, with 7:46 to play.

Radford went on a spurt, but Longwood responded, and Napper sank a layup with 1:06 to play to trim the deficit to 80-75.

From that point though, Radford hit enough free throws to hold off Longwood’s final rally.’

Up next for Longwood men’s basketball

The Lancers wrap up the road portion of their regular season schedule with a trip to Gardner-Webb on Thursday night, February 29. Tip is set for 7 p.m., and the game will air on ESPNU as well as on the radio on WVHL 92.9 Kickin’ Country.