The Radford University women’s basketball team is going Dancin’!
The Highlanders defeated the Campbell Camels on Sunday at the Dedmon Center, 57-45, to capture the 2019 Big South Tournament Championship for the first time since 1996 and their tenth in program history. Radford, who has won 18 straight games, improved to 26-6 (17-1 BSC) on the season (program-record wins).
Redshirt-junior forward Lydia Rivers (14 points, 14 rebounds) was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament after recording her conference-leading 15th double-double of the season. Rivers scored 57 points and grabbed 37 rebounds in three games for an average of 19.0 points and 12. 3 rebounds per game. The Kinston, North Carolina native converted 18-of-35 field goal attempts, blocked eight shots and was 21-of-25 from the free-throw line in the tournament.
Junior guard Khiana Johnson scored 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting and redshirt-junior center Sydney Nunley contributed 13 points, eight rebounds and a game-high four rejections.
The Highlanders held Campbell (21-12, 10-8 Big South) to a 29.5 percent shooting clip as the Camels hit just 18-of-61 attempts overall. Campbell converted 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) from long-distance and only got to the line five times.
Radford, who shot 36.4 percent overall (20-of-55), outscored the visitors by a 30-14 margin inside the paint.
The Highlanders trailed 12-9 after the opening quarter but turned in one of the most dominant stanza’s in recent memory. Radford outscored the Camels by a 21-2 count as the visitors made just 1-of-15 field goal attempts.
Radford rattled off 11 straight points to take a 20-12 lead with 5:46 remaining in the second quarter. Nunley ignited the burst with a layup and tied the game with a free-throw at the 8:28 mark. Rivers put the hosts up for good, 14-12, when Nunley found her underneath for a layup with 7:51 left.
Johnson then scored on a layup, senior guard/forward Destinee Walker (7 points, 8 boards) converted a pair from the stripe and redshirt-junior forward Savannah Felgemacher (8 points, 5 rebounds) scored inside to cap the stretch.
Shyanne Tuelle stopped the bleeding with a jumper for Campbell at the 5:26 mark, however, Radford went on another big run as they outscored the Camels by a 10-0 margin to close out the half. Walker put the icing on the cake when she intercepted a pass near half court and raced in for a layup with under a minute left to give Radford a 30-14 halftime advantage.
Radford extended their lead to as many as 19 points, 43-24, with 2:41 left in the third quarter after Rivers converted a layup.
The Highlanders settled for a 45-32 lead after three quarters as Campbell went on a 8-2 run to end the stanza.
The Camels made things interesting in the fourth quarter as they closed to within 45-40 after a layup by Luana Serranho with 7:02 left. However, redshirt-junior guard Jen Falconer splashed a clutch triple from the right-wing to make it 48-40 with 6:27 left.
Ashlyn Hampton answered with a jumper to trim the deficit to six with 5:36 left, but the Highlanders scored the next nine points to put the game away. Walker and Rivers (3-pt play) opened the run with layups and the hosts hit 4-of-6 from the line to finish the stretch.
Hayley Barber led Campbell with 10 points.
- Lydia Rivers, Radford (MVP)
- Destinee Walker, Radford
- Hayley Barber, Campbell
- Caroline Bowns, Campbell
- Shelby Wilbanks, Charleston Southern