Radford beats LIU Brooklyn in NCAA tournament opener

Another chapter in the NCAA Tournament’s storied history means another trip through Dayton Ohio for the First Four

Another chapter in the NCAA Tournament’s storied history means another trip through Dayton Ohio for the First Four

Jones led the way and flirted with a triple-double (12 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists), while Ed Polite Jr. added a double-double with 13 points and 13 boards. The Highlanders scheduled a fairly hard nonconference slate, losing to three Power-5 and Nevada, which earned a No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Big South tournament itself was one of the more chaotic ones this season.

The Highlanders used 11 players in the first half and 12 before the final minute. Not when his bench has been outscored only five times this season.

Jones didn't disappoint them. It ranks 205th in KenPom's adjusted offense, and the Highlanders' lack of scoring could come back to haunt them in a single-elimination tournament.

Julian Batts #1 of the Long Island Blackbirds looks to pass against the Radford Highlanders during the first half of the First Four game in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 13, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio.

LIU Brooklyn didn't hesitate to fire three-pointers in an effort to keep the pace rolling and shots coming, but it was a mere 7-of-26 from deep (26.9 percent), and it struggled to break free from Radford's swarming perimeter defenders. Donald Hicks gave Radford eleven points while Devonnte Holland chipped in with nine points. Holland was also a big factor on defense. The Cats wrapped up their second straight Big East crown and third in the last four years on Saturday night with a 76-66 overtime victory over Providence at Madison Square Garden.

Even with the strong defensive performance, Radford was unable to create much separation with a two-point halftime lead and left the door open for LIU Brooklyn.

"I thought (Radford) did a nice job grinding it out on the offensive end of the floor and taking time off the clock to where we couldn't get moving". "We played with that chip on our shoulder the whole year". "But the second half of the season it really became a strength".

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