VMI came into Saturday's match up with Radford one game ahead of the Highlanders in the Big South North Division standings and looking to grab the a first round bye in the Big South Tournament by finishing first or second in the division. The Keydets accomplished that today by beating the Highlanders for the second time this year in a 88-76 win in Lexington. VMI won at Radford earlier this year 101-88.
Senior big man and defending Big South Defensive Player of the Year lead the Highlanders today with 29 points and 13 rebounds. Covington was 9-for-12 from the charity stripe, which played a big roll in the Keydets win. Fellow senior Rodney Glasgow also performed well from the free throw line going a perfect 8-for-8 and finished the afternoon with 26 points. Freshman star QJ Peterson finished with a season low 9 points.
Radford's Javonte Green continued his bid for Big South Player of the Year with 21 points and 7 rebounds for the Highlanders.
VMI now has locked up either the first or second seed and a first round bye in the Big South Tournament next month. They are the first Big South school to ten wins in conference play and find themselves a half of game in front of High Point who plays at Longwood this evening. The Keydets will play at High Point, a team they beat 82-80 in overtime earlier this year, on Wednesday. A win over the Panthers would lock up the first seed for VMI.
Radford still has an outside shot a getting a first round bye in Myrtle Beach but would need some help from a slew of other teams in the last week of the Big South season. It seems Radford's most likely destination is the division's third seed and a first round match up with Presbyterian.
The Big South Tournament kicks off March 4 on Coastal Carolina's campus.