For the first time since the 1997-98 season, Radford is 4-0 in Big South play after four Highlanders finished with double-figures in a 73-55 routing over Commonwealth foe Longwood to keep the Lancers winless in conference play in Saturday afternoon action.
Marking the fourth time on the season the Highlanders had four players score double-digits, Jayda Worthy led all scorers with a career-high 24 points on 11 of 13 shooting to go along with her 10 rebounds. In the last five games, Worthy has tallied 88 points, including 64 in Big South play.
Rounding out the Highlanders in double-figures, Destinee Walker missed matching her career high, falling one-point shy with a 21-point effort. Sydney Nunley followed with her first career double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. Claudia Quevedo collected 11 points on three 3-pointers.
Radford and Longwood opened the contest on a cold shooting spell as the two teams combined to make only eight baskets in the opening 10 minutes of play. Holding a 6-4 lead with 5:05 remaining in the opening quarter, Radford scored seven straight points with six coming in the paint to close out the quarter with a 13-6 lead.
Scoring seven of Radford’s 13 points in the first quarter, Worthy added nine more in the second quarter, scoring eight of Radford’s first 16 points. Quevedo joined Worthy with eight points during the first 7:29 of the second quarter.
Commanding a 17-9 lead two minutes into the second quarter, Worthy and Quevedo knocked down back-to-back shots from behind the arc to extend the Radford lead to 23-11.
After managing only six points in the opening quarter, Longwood shot a blistering 70-percent from the field, making 7 of 10 shots. Three of the seven makes came from 3-point land.
Radford connected on four 3-pointers of their own in the quarter as a pair of 3-pointers from Quevedo and Walker sent the Highlanders into the locker room with a 35-25 lead.
In the first 20 minutes of play, Radford shot 43.8 percent from the floor, making 14 of 32 attempts, five of which coming from behind the arc.
Worthy made her first six shots of the game, finishing the half 7 of 9 for 16 points and seven rebounds. All eight of Quevedo’s first half points came in the crucial second quarter. Nunley came off the bench to grab six of Radford’s 21 rebounds and two of their four steals.
Coming out of the break, both teams traded baskets early before Radford went on a 15-2 run to push its lead to 21 points (52-31) with 5:11 remaining in the third quarter. Walker provided seven points during the run, while finishing the quarter with 11 points on 4 of 5 shooting. Worthy and Nunley added back-to-back layups to hand the Highlanders their first 20-point lead of the game.
Kate Spradlin ended the Radford run with a 3-pointer, but the Highlanders answered right back with seven straight points. A Jen Falconer 3-pointer off Walker’s third assist of the quarter gave Radford its largest lead of the game at 25 points, leading 59-34 with 2:33 left.
Longwood held the Highlanders scoreless for the final 2:33, scoring the final four points of the quarter, trailing 59-38 with 10 minutes left of regulation.
The Lancers put together a last-minute charge as head coach Bill Reinson looked to the press to chip at the Highlander lead.
Radford went ice cold from the floor as Longwood used a 18-9 run dating back to the final 1:22 of the third quarter. Jada Russell connected on two 3-pointers and Spradlin knocked down a deep 3-pointer to trim the once 25-point deficit to 13 points. Spradlin’s 3-pointer cut the Radford lead to 68-55 with 1:58 remaining in regulation.
Falconer assisted on a Worthy layup and Quevedo 3-pointer to push Radford’s lead back up for a 73-55 win.
The 1997-98 Highlanders opened Big South play with five straight wins. Radford is currently on a five-game winning streak dating back to their non-conference finale win over Concord on Dec. 31.
The Highlanders have placed four players in double-figures against UNC Greensboro, Concord, Winthrop and Longwood.
Eleven days removed from setting her previous career high of 20 points, Jayda Worthy made a career-high 11 field goals to give her the career-high 24 points.
Worthy is shooting 75.6 percent from the field in Big South games, making 31 of 41 attempts.
The stretch of 88 points of the last five games has improved Worthy’s season average to 11.9 ppg. She has grabbed 31 rebounds in the last three games to improve her season average to 6.6 per game.
Worthy now has a team-high four doubles on the season and 10 in her career.
Destinee Walker just missed her fourth double-double on the season with 21 points and nine rebounds. Walker made a career-high four 3-pointers on six attempts.
Putting together one of the most proficient performances for Radford in 20 minutes of action off the bench was Sydney Nunley. Nunley finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, two blocks and one assist.
Radford dished out a season-high 20 assists, marking the first time since Feb. 20, 2016 against Longwood that the Highlanders have crossed the 20-assist plateau. Through four conference games, Radford has racked up 65 assists.
Jen Falconer led the way with a season-high seven assists, missing her career best by one assist. Falconer has collected 19 assists in the four league games for 4.8 per game.
Radford scored 19 points off 12 turnovers. The Highlanders added 15 points off 15 offensive rebounds.
For the ninth time on the season, Radford shot over 40-percent, finishing with a 47.5 field goal percentage.
“I thought we did some good things today. I also thought Longwood competed hard as shorthanded as they were today. Offensively, we did a nice job of moving the ball and playing together. At times, we played a little too unselfish. We need to continue to build upon the ball movement and team play. Our third quarter was strong and allowed us to extend the lead. We continue to see excellent spurts from our team,” said Radford head coach Mike McGuire.
— Courtesy of RU Athletics