Led by four players in double-figures and a strong defense showing, Radford closed out non-conference play with an 8-3 record as the Highlanders scored 19 points off Concord miscues for a 78-51 commanding New Year’s Eve victory.
Locked in a 7-7 battle early in the first quarter, Radford went on a 10-0 run on eight straight points from Destinee Walker as the sophomore went 3 for 3 from the field with two free throws.
Following a Walker offensive rebound put back, Emily Boothe ended the Radford run with a layup as neither team scored in the final two minutes with Radford commanding a 17-9 lead.
The second quarter saw both teams get off to a slow start as Radford scored the first three points on a Jayda Worthy layup and Janayla White free throw, extending the lead to 20-9 at the 6:23 mark.
After watching the deficit move to double-digits, Concord went a small run of four straight points on a Lindsey Overbey jumper and two Madison May free throws. The 4-0 run trimmed the Radford lead to seven (22-15) with 4:06 left in the first half.
Two Walker free throws separated a pair of 3-pointers off the hand of Claudia Quevedo, moving the Radford lead to 30-15. The two deep balls came off assists from Walker and White.
Answering back with a Danielle Catron 3-pointer and two baskets by Boothe, Concord cut the Radford lead to single digits with 55 seconds remaining in the half. White answered the run with a short-corner jumper off a Quevedo assist, while Walker sunk two free throws to end the half with a 34-22 Highlander lead.
Walker led all scorers with 12 first half points on 3 for 4 shooting with a 6 of 6 clip from the charity stripe. The Florence, S.C. added three assists and two steals in 17 minutes of action. Joining Walker in stuffing the box score; White followed with seven points, four blocks and three steals.
Radford scored 15 points off 10 Concord turnovers in the half, collecting seven steals.
In a back-and-forth third quarter, Brittany Allen came off the bench, providing an immediate impact. Allen sparked another Radford 10-0 run with a right-corner 3-pointer off a Worthy inside-out pass. Following the 3-pointer, Allen collected with back-to-back transition baskets off a pair of Worthy rebounds.
Seven straight points by Allen forced a Concord timeout with 2:17 remaining in the quarter as Radford commanded a 52-34 lead. Allen closed out the run with two free throws, scoring nine of the 10 points as Khiana Johnson added the lone free throw during the run.
Radford’s defense continued to dominate in the final frame as the Highlanders controlled a 13-4 rebound advantage, outscoring the Mountain Lions in the paint (10-2) and second chance (7-2).
The Highlanders ended the contest on a 12-6 run as Rachael Ross and Worthy provided six points apiece in the quarter as Radford wrapped up non-conference play with a 78-51 victory.
The win is the 50th of head coach Mike McGuire’s career. McGuire is 50-53 during his time as the headman of the Highlanders. In his four-year stint, Radford is 13-9 in home games played during November –December.
The win gives Radford back-to-back perfect home records to start the season in games played Nov.-Dec. (2015, 2016).
Radford placed four players in double-figures for the second time on the season and first since Dec. 2 at UNC Greensboro. Destinee Walker (16), Jayda Worthy (13), Claudia Quevedo (12) and Janayla White (11) led the Highlanders in scoring.
Walker finished with her nine game of 10-plus points and led the Highlanders in scoring for the eighth time on the season. She finished four for seven from the field and made eight of eight free throws.
Worthy collected her second double-double on the season and the eighth of her career, corralling 10 rebounds. She finished five for six from the field. Quevedo finished with a season-high 12 points on a career-high four 3-pointers.
White filled out the box score for the Highlanders. The junior grabbed nine rebounds, blocked a career-high six shots and finished with three steals. She now has eight steals in the last three games. With the six blocks, White has 126 in her career, needing 14 more to move into a tie for second all-time.
Brittany Allen matched a career-high nine points in 15 minutes of play. Rachael Ross and Khiana Johnson finished with six points each. Ross’ six points came in nine minutes of action.
Radford assisted on 15 of their 25 makes as Walker and Worthy finished with three assists a piece. The Highlanders shot 46.3 percent from the field, their sixth game shooting over 40-percent. Forcing 17 turnovers, Radford scored 19 points off the Concord miscues. The 11 Radford steals match a season high.
Radford finished with 10 blocks, a season high and the first time they have blocked 10-plus shots since March 11 in a Big South Tournament matchup against High Point.
The Highlanders dominated the paint (28-6) and second chance points (17-2). Lindsey Overbey led Concord with 16 points on a 6 of 9 effort from the field.
“Something we are going to continue to focus on is to be defensively sound and try to force missed shots. This allows us to play in open space, while turning defense into offense. If you look at our 11 games, this is when we are playing at our best. Our heart and soul is our defense. If we can clean up our offense, I think we have a very good chance at being really competitive. We left some points on the floor today in our transition play and we are going to need those points in the conference season,” said Radford head coach Mike McGuire.
— Courtesy of RU Athletics