Analysis: Eagles Stumped at Radford

Bridgewater Hoops Overpowered in Preseason Finale

Dean Barker, Staff Writer

Radford, Va. – On Tuesday night, the Eagles men’s basketball team was soundly defeated 91-40 at Radford in their second and final exhibition game. The exhibition was Bridgewater’s second against Division 1 teams this preseason. With the win, the Highlanders improved to 1-1 on the regular season, while the Eagles finish the preseason at 0-2. 

Senior guard Chandler Murray had a team-high 17 points, a steal and a rebound for the Eagles in the defeat. Freshman guard Jahlil Langston kicked in with nine points, an assist and a team-high five rebounds. Senior guard TJ Turner had three points, four assists, four rebounds and one steal. Sophomore guard Liam Caswell had two points, two assists and a rebound, but also had two turnovers and fouled out in the second half.

The Highlanders were led by junior guard Carlik Jones, who led the team with twenty points, 7 assists, 5 steals and 4 turnovers. Senior guard Devin Hutchinson kicked in with 17 points and three rebounds. Senior guard Travis Fields Jr. had ten points, and graduate forward Devine Eke had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

BC shot 28.9% from the field, compared to 52.3% from the Highlanders. The Eagles shot 29.6% from three point range, whereas Radford shot 37%. Bridgewater was out-rebounded 49-21. The Eagles were defeated in every statistical category except for free throw percentage, shooting 60% compared to 59.1% from Radford. Bridgewater never led, and the game was only tied twice, at 0-0 and 16-16, resulting in 31 total seconds of tied basketball.

The Eagles got off to a rough start, falling behind 8-0 within the first four minutes of action. The Eagles would answer with four points, but not before the Highlanders could add on six more to make it a 14-4 lead with fifteen minutes remaining. The Eagles then made four three pointers and went on a 12-2 run to tie the game at 16 with 11:19 left in the half. The run was led by Murray with two three pointers, with one three from freshman guard Will Bowser and the game-tying shot from Langston. Not to be outdone, Radford then went on an 11-0 run during the next three minutes to make it 27-16. The Highlanders would score 14 more to close the half on a 25-8 run, and the score at halftime was 41-24 Radford. 

In the first half, the Eagles shot 45% from the field, 46.2% from the three point line, and were 0-2 on free throws. The Highlanders shot 48.5% from the field, 18.2% on three pointers, and 7-10 from the free throw line.

The Eagles simply couldn’t do anything right in the second half. Radford started out on an 11-0 run to push their lead to 52-24. A three from Murray was answered by an 8-0 run from the Highlanders to make it 60-27, and the Eagles just couldn’t stop the bleeding. Radford went on a 28-8 run to make it 88-35, their game-high 53 point lead. The Eagles would close the game on a 5-3 run, but it was far too little, as the Highlanders won 91-40. Bridgewater was plagued in the second half by their 16% field goal shooting, along with 14.3% from three point range.

The Eagles will tip off the season on Saturday at 3 pm when they take on Montclair State in the Pablo Coto Tip-Off Tournament. The game will take place at Marymount University, and Bridgewater will be playing as the home team. They will play again on Sunday, taking on Marymount or Wilkes in either the championship game or the consolation game.