Radford Men’s Basketball began their season with two home games on Saturday, November 14 against Navy, and Thursday, November 19 against Lynchburg. Both matches resulted in wins for the Highlanders. Pregaming went on all over Radford on Saturday as students readied themselves for the 2009-2010 Radford basketball season. Radford opened up their season against Navy, who defeated the Highs last year in overtime. Navy began the night with a 5-0 start before Radford was able to get on the board. However, Radford stayed close behind for most of the half.
Radford was trailing 37-28 as the clock ticked off the final seconds of the half. Things were looking grim for the Highlanders. At most basketball games when the clock is ticking down the final seconds, if a player is on the other side of the court, he shoots the ball in the hopes of getting the three-pointer. While it almost never works, Radford’s opening night was one of the few nights that right as the clock was on the final second, the Highlanders nailed the shot from half court, making the score 37-31 in Navy’s favor. The crowd went wild as the basketball team left the court for the locker room.
It didn’t take the Highlanders long at all to get on a roll in the second half, between the dynamic duo of Artsiom Parakhouski and Joey Lynch-Flohr, Navy’s players just didn’t have the height to stop their shots. Radford rallied to take the lead shortly into the second half, and from there, they never looked back. Navy managed to stay close behind and came to within three points a couple times. Radford shut them down everty time, and stayed hot for a 76-65 victory in their season opener.
For most of the night there was never any doubt during game two of the Highlander’s season. The Highlanders allowed the first basket of the night to fall behind 2-0 in the opening minute, but that was the only lead that Lynchburg would have on Radford all night. The Highlanders made several commanding runs in the first half to lead. Again, Parakhouski and Lynch-Flohr were just too much of a height advantage, and sank nearly every shot they took when they were allowed to get close to the basket. Phillip Martin also sank several good outside shots for the Highlanders that night.
Several times in the first half, Radford led by more than double Lynchburg’s score. 26-13 in the first 10 minutes, and one of Radford’s largest leads was when they had Lynchburg down 37-16 shortly before the end of the half. Lynchburg fought back, but trailed 49-29 at the final buzzer. During the second half, Radford led by 20 points or more for most of the time. Lynchburg’s closest chance was when they cut the margin to 14 points at 53-39. Radford didn’t take long to kill that. The Highlanders finished the night with a 94-70 win.
So Beginning their season with a good first two home games, the Highlanders had a rough week on the road as they traveled out to North Carolina to face Duke, and then to Pittsburg to face Dusquesne. Radford fell hard to the Blue Devils in a 104-67 blowout, fuled by 18 3-pointers shot by Duke throughout the game. In Pittsburg Radford fell to Dusquesne 71-63, despite a substantial effort from Art Parahakouskit who recorded 23 points and 14 rebounds.
The matchup against Duke came as no surprise to anyone who watched that game, the Blue Devils have been a powerhouse in basketball in the ACC in years past. The Highlanders began with a successful jumper from Joey Lynch-Flohr, who was the first to put Radford on the board, giving them a 2-0 lead. Duke answered pretty quickly with a jumper from Miles Plumlee. For the first six minutes of the half, Radford managed to stay with Duke, and held a slight 13-12 lead before the Blue Devils took off with a 10-0 rally. Parakhouski ended that streak with a layup to keep the Highlanders alive, but the Blue Devils continued laying it on to the Highlanders pretty heavy.
Radford trailed by 21 points at 43-22 with a little over six minutes remaining in the half. The Highlanders tried to stay alive and outscored Duke 7-5 in the next three minutes, but as the half came to an end, the Devils led 59-34. Radford opened up the second half with a 7-0 run to cut Duke’s lead to 59-41. That didn’t stop the Blue Devils, however, who again took off with an 11-2 rally to increase their lead to 70-43. Duke took their first 30 point lead of the night with 12.5 minutes remaining in the game with a jumper from Ryan Kelly. Radford wasn’t able to cut the margin to much less than that for the remainer of the game and fell 104-67 as the clock hit zero.
The second road game of the week was a little closer for Radford, as they traveled to Pittsburg to take on the Dukes of Dusquesne University. The Dukes began the game strong, taking an 11-3 lead in the first five minutes of the game. Blake Smith made the jumper to end that rally, and Radford managed to come to within three points in the next three minutes of play at 13-10. The Dukes put thier lead back up to five with a layup from Bill Clark. Clarke hit two more layups in the next three minutes to put the lead back up to seven at 17-10 before Parakhouski hit a free throw and Joey Lynch-Flohr hit a jumper to cut the margin to 17-13. Radford managed a 6-2 rally from there to finally tie the score at 19. Dusquesne didn’t allow the Highlanders to take the lead, however, and led 26-21 going into the half. The Dukes held the lead throughout the second half to take a 71-63 victory over the Highlanders, dropping Radford’s record to 2-2.
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