Radford was an NCAA Tournament team a year ago, managing to win a play-in game before losing to the Villanova Wildcats in the round of 64. They returned three starters from that squad, and that veteran experience and talent showed in this one — the Highlanders trailed by just 6 at the half, and asserted themselves in the second half, wrestling the lead away from the young, struggling Irish and doing just enough to hang onto that lead down the stretch.
Much of that can be attributed to Radford G Caleb Tanner, who hit 4-of-6 three pointers in the first half and finished the game with 20 points (6-of-9 from deep). Ed Polite Jr. added 16 points and 11 rebounds to give the Highlanders a boost down low, and Travis Fields Jr. chipped in 11 points.
The Irish had a hot shooter of their own — John Mooney, who managed to
one-up two-up Tanner in the first half by hitting 6 of the 8 deep balls he launched. Mooney led the Irish for the game with a career-high 24 points (6-of-9 from deep) and 12 rebounds, and got some help from T.J. Gibbs (11 points), but not much help came from anyone else as ND struggled on offense to find any sort of rhythm or offensive flow, even going a few substantial stretches without scoring.
The Irish shot 36% from the field and 31% from deep for the game, while Radford shot 42% and 38% from the field and from 3, respectively.
The Irish will continue their home-stand to begin the season by playing the William & Mary Tribe this Saturday at Purcell Pavilion at 12 PM ET.