On Thursday, January 26, the Radford Highlanders Men’s Basketball team hosted the Campbell Fighting Camels. The game was broadcast on ESPNU, the first time a Highlander home game has been broadcast on the network since February 2014. Cheerleaders and coaches made sure that Radford’s return to the screen was made known to students and got their fellow Highlanders hyped with free pizza and giveaways in the Bonnie hours before the game.
Tip off was at 7 p.m, and the Dedmon Center was buzzing with fans, most decked out in red and waving red and white long balloons to show school spirit. Radford got the first possession, and Guard Caleb Tanner sunk a 3-pointer to score the first points of the game. After the first score, however, the Highlander’s offense struggled and by halftime, had managed only 25 points to the Camel’s 37. Turnovers also hurt the home team, and they wrestled with field goal accuracy which led to Campbell gaining a 21-point lead with less than 12 minutes in the second half. Radford Guard Justin Cousin then hit a 3-pointer which allowed his team to come back 8 points, cutting the Camel’s lead to 13. The Camels then responded, however, with 5 straight points. The final score of the night was Campbell 78, Radford 61.
Justin Cousin was the leading scorer for Radford with 18 points, including five 3-pointers.
Forward Ed Polite Jr. put up 12 points, while Caleb Tanner scored 8 points.
Throughout the game, dancers and cheerleaders worked to keep the crowd’s excitement high, launching t-shirts into the stands via t-shirt guns or throwing them themselves. The halftime show featured two acts, one by junior cheerleaders and another by a dance team, which performed their routine to a mashup of pop hits such as “24k Magic” by Bruno Mars and “Bad and Boujee” by Migos. Dance Cams and Smile Cams entertained the crowd during timeouts, spotlighting people in the audience, and fans of all ages participated in shooting contests, three legged races, and other competitions to win money and gift cards.