Radford University battled No. 10 West Virginia to the final buzzer as the Highlanders went 11 of 27 from behind the arc in a 75-55 loss to the Mountaineers, Saturday afternoon inside the Charleston Civic Center.
Making 10-plus 3-pointers for the second straight game, Radford is 21 for 47 over the last eight quarters, increasing the three-point field-goal percentage to 27.1 on the season.
Radford placed two players in double-figures as Khiana Johnson finished with 17 points on 4 of 8 shooting from behind the arc. Johnson has now led the Highlanders in scoring three times on the season. Jayda Worthy chipped in with 11 points.
After West Virginia ended the opening quarter on a 7-0 run to hold Radford scoreless for the final 3:33 of the quarter, the Mountaineers held a 23-10 edge.
After watching the deficit increase to 15 points, Johnson pulled down a defensive rebound, pushing ahead to Worthy for her second 3-pointer of the first half with 7:35 remaining in the half.
Off a West Virginia turnover, Destinee Walker found Lydia Rivers for a jumper in the paint, pulling within 28-18. Johnson made a free throw at the five-minute mark to cut the deficit to nine points.
The Mountaineers answered the Radford stretch with a 6-0 swing, before the Highlanders answered with back-to-back 3-pointers from Jen Falconer and Walker to head into the locker trailing 37-25.
In the opening half, Radford assisted on all nine of its field goals, including four 3-pointers in the second quarter as Worthy and Johnson paced the squad with seven points each.
The third quarter saw both teams exchange baskets as Radford inched as close as 10 points again off of two consecutive 3-pointers from Walker. That would be as close as the Highlanders would get as West Virginia used a 12-3 swing between the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth, pushing its lead to 20 points.
West Virginia went 10 for 15 from the field in the fourth quarter, outscoring Radford 24-17 in the quarter as the Highlanders dropped the border battle 75-55.
West Virginia moves to 2-0 in the all-time series.
Radford was 21 for 108 from downtown, before going 21 for 47 over the last two games. Sharing the ball, Radford assisted on 14 of 17 made field goals. Five different Highlanders assisted on two-plus baskets with three assisting on three.
Khiana Johnson has now scored double-digits in six of eight games on the season. Jayda Worthy collected her 49th career game with double-digits as the 11 points give her 966 career points. Lydia Rivers pulled down eight rebounds and finished with two blocks, giving her 18 on the season.
The Highlanders forced 17 turnovers, scoring 15 points off Mountaineer miscues. West Virginia outrebounded Radford 45-25, including 12-5 on the offensive glass.
“I thought today was a good opportunity for us to play a quality team in West Virginia. They are easily the best team that I have coached against. We knew that we had to certain things well to have a chance to be in the game part of that was finding open shooters and making perimeter shots. Overall, I was pleased with how we fought and competed, but we can’t give up 35 points off turnovers and fast breaks,” said Radford head coach Mike McGuire.
Radford’s next two neutral site games will be a part of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic to be played Dec. 21-22. The Highlanders will open the classic against Abilene Christian on Dec. 21 in a 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST battle. The two teams will meet for the first team.
Concluding the classic with a Dec. 22 matchup versus Towson for the first meeting since Nov. 25, 2008. The contest is slated for a 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. start.