Radford Holds off LIU-Brooklyn Rallies and Wins 71-61

LIU-Brooklyn made three comebacks in the second half, but none of them were enough to get it done as Radford’s defense and efficient shooting was just too much for the Blackbirds.

If you would’ve told me after ten minutes of this game that LIU-Brooklyn would only be down two at halftime, I would’ve called you crazy. Sure, the Highlanders were only up nine at the time, but the Blackbirds couldn’t string shots together and it felt like Radford was starting to feel a rhythm.

Everything seemed like it was shifting Radford’s way.

The first half started with a bang when Radford’s Ed Polite Jr. threw down a monster slam.

After this dunk, the Highlanders top-15 defense went to work; at one point LIU-Brooklyn was shooting 11.1% from three-point land and 33.3% from the field. Once the halftime buzzer sounded the Blackbirds weren’t shooting much better from three(23.1%), but they did get their field goal percentage up to 44.4%, not great but respectable.

LIU-Brooklyn star Joel Hernandez wasn’t helping his team at all, he shot 1-3 from deep and 2-6 overall with five points and two fouls.

Radford’s offense was great, they shot 52% from the field; the only thing that kept them from pulling further ahead was their nine turnovers.

The Highlanders took a 30-28 lead into the locker room at half, leading for all but 20 seconds.

The second half saw LIU-Brooklyn take the lead early, but not for long as Radford quickly got it back.

About four minutes later the Highlander lead was nine, it felt like they were going to run away with it; but a few missed shots, turnovers, and two quick threes from Julian Batts and it’s a one-point game again.

But Radford would respond and the Blackbirds would go ice cold. The three-pointers that Batts hit with nearly seven minutes left, would be the last field goals made by LIU-Brooklyn.

Radford started hitting shots and the game was falling out of reach for the LIU-Brooklyn squad.

Radford would hold on to win by ten, 71-61 and will face #1 seed Villanova in the first round.

Not to be lost from this game was the poor performance of Joel Hernandez. The guy who averaged nearly 21 points a game and carried LIU-Brooklyn to an NEC title, looked lost on the court with a final stat line of eight points, 3-11 from the field, 1-5 form three, and six turnovers.

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