Okay cool, hook ‘em (with a bayonet, or whatever Scottish Highlanders used). Radford went to Austin and stunned No. 17 Texas 62-59 on Friday night, earning the Highlanders another major conference scalp. The Highlanders stifled Texas’s offense and did just enough to come out with their first-ever win over a ranked opponent. That’s some high-quality brutality.
It wasn’t a pretty night offensively for either team, but Radford took advantage of awful Texas shooting (the Longhorns shot 18.5 percent from three) to open a 57-51 lead with 3:07 left in the game. Things got hairy as Texas fought back to tie it at 57 apiece, but the Highlanders muscled out the win thanks to a brilliant and-1 from Carlik Jones with 24 seconds remaining.
UPSET ALERT! @RadfordMBB picks up a big win at Texas, their first win over a ranked team in school history.— Matt Craig (@MrMattCraig) December 1, 2018
Good defense, better offense in the final minute. Carlik Jones was 2/11 from the field until this and-1 on Kerwin Roach.
Watch out for the Highlanders in the Big South! pic.twitter.com/Dmp42Yor8o
Shaka Smart’s Texas team was heavily favored after a win over North Carolina in Las Vegas and a decent showing against Michigan State. The first 10 minutes of the game went according to plan for the Longhorns, who opened up a 24-12 lead and looked quite comfortable. But Radford’s defense tightened up and Texas’s offense completely stalled, allowing Radford to take a 29-28 lead five minutes later and stay within a point at the half.
Radford just played solid basketball all night and kept Texas from building any sort of advantage. Ed Polite Jr. led Radford with 11 points, but the senior forward shot just 4-of-15 from the field and was far from his best. But with Texas’s offensive ineptitude, it didn’t matter. Texas was unable to cash in on multiple attempts to tie the game late, and Radford left with another buy game win, following up on their upset of Notre Dame on Nov. 14. Mike Jones has to be impressed with his team thus far as it tries to make the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row.
Radford will have another chance to knock off a major conference opponent when it faces Clemson on Dec. 15.