GAME NOTES: Coming off their first postseason win as a Division I program, the Radford Highlanders clash with the Old Dominion Monarchs in the second round of the College Basketball Invitational at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on Monday night.
Radford won in a 96-92 shootout over Oregon State last Wednesday to secure its first win in the postseason in 30 years at the Division I level. The Highlanders have had chances before, most notably when they suffered first- round losses in the 1998 and 2009 NCAA Tournaments. The victory over the Beavers was also important as it tied a program record for wins in a season in Division I play (22-12).
Old Dominion notched a 72-65 triumph over South Dakota State in its first- round matchup, marking the third win in the last four games for the Monarchs, who have as many wins as losses overall this season (17-17). They are 2-1 all- time in the CBI, having split a pair of games in 2008.
This is the first meeting between these two programs, and the winner will await the results of other second-round action to determine its next opponent.
Ya Ya Anderson (23 points), Javonte Green (20) and R.J. Price (20) all put forth tremendous efforts in Radford's win over Oregon State last week. The Highlanders came out firing, sinking 68.6 percent of their shots from the field, including 9-of-15 from 3-point range, in the first half. They cooled to 43.3 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes, but the 12-point halftime cushion gave them enough margin for error to close out the victory.
Putting points on the board comes rather easily for Radford, as the Highlanders rank among the top-30 teams in the country in both scoring (78.5 ppg) and field goal percentage (.481), leading the Big South Conference in the latter category. Green (17 ppg, 8.1 rpg) heads up the offensive attack and is also the team's best rebounder. Price (13.3 ppg) and Anderson (11.6 ppg) serve as complementary scorers in the backcourt, and Rashun Davis (10.6 ppg) gives the team some depth off the bench.
Dimitri Batten sank four 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 18 points to lead Old Dominion over South Dakota State last week. The Monarchs were much more careful with the basketball during the game, committing only seven turnovers while forcing 14. They also held a 22-0 scoring edge off of those miscues.
ODU is not having the same success at the offensive end as is Radford. The Monarchs are netting a meager 63.7 ppg on 42.7 percent shooting, ranking near the bottom of Conference USA in both areas. However, they have managed to remain competitive by standing tall on defense, limiting foes to 64.5 ppg on 42 percent shooting. Aaron Bacote (15.9 ppg) is the team's primary scorer and one of only two players averaging double figures for the season. Batten (10.9 ppg) is the other, despite a 37.8 percent success rate on field goal tries.
Whichever one of these teams can dictate the tempo will have a major advantage, as they play vastly different styles. The Monarchs, at home, may have some success slowing down the Highlanders, who are unlikely to shoot so effectively from 3-point range once again.
Game Date and Time