Many thought that a premier potential upset in college basketball to open the season would be Big South powerhouse High Point over Texas Tech. However, although the Panthers put up a great fight, the Red Raiders prevailed in Lubbock.
Little did we know that the best performing Big South team this weekend would be the Radford Highlanders. With electric offense that kept pace throughout, Radford zipped to a wild 2OT victory over Big East stronghold Georgetown.
Rashun Davis was a lightning bolt for the Highlanders, scoring 28 points by pushing into the lanes and attaining easy buckets. Davis, who had kept Radford in the game throughout, but he saved the day with 3 seconds remaining in overtime. Radford was in their final possession down one, and Davis heaved a long three that swished through the nylon. Georgetown could not get a shot off with the few ticks remaining, and the small Virginia school's coaching staff lept with joy.
Cameron Jones was all over the court for Radford, getting in the corner to drill some three-pointers and grabbing numerous rebounds on the other end. He ended with 20 points as the Highlanders continued to answer ever Hoya run. Big man Kion Brown put up a double-double.
The Highlanders had to overcome many challenges today. Star YaYa Anderson had a poor shooting day, 2 for 9. Also, any Radford players got into foul trouble, giving many opportunites at the charity stripe for Georgetown. However, hot shooting by Davis and Jones pushed the Highlanders into the shocking win.
Georgetown suffered from a cold start by superstar D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Although the talented point guard made some key plays and was second on the team in scoring with 15 points, Smith-Rivera showed some inconsistencies that have plagued him since his freshman year. Senior center Bradley Hayes grabbed a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, as he was the one truly consistent player on John Thompson III's Hoya team. Isaac Copeland scored 11, including an important late-game 3-pointer, but his 5 turnovers hurt the team's cause. Horrendous defense overall by the Georgetown guards ended hopes for a Hoya win.
Clearly Georgetown has a long way to go before they can contend for the Big East Championship. As experienced as this team is, there was no reason for such a sloppy game. The team has a lot to work on over the next few weeks. Radford, on the other hand, garnered a program-changing victory that will send ripples throughout the Big South. Head coach Mike Jones must be very proud.
The Highlanders get another stern test against Virginia Commonwealth on Monday in Richmond, while the Hoyas get a massive challenge against #3 Maryland on Tuesday in College Park.