Austin, TX – After dropping their first game of the season to the Michigan State Spartans in Las Vegas, the Texas Longhorns were unable to solve their shooting issues during Friday’s game in Austin. The Radford Highlanders were able to match the Longhorns in every area of the game eking out a 62-59 road victory.
Although the Longhorns got off to a hot start in Friday’s contest, Radford took advantage of a four minute stretch where Texas was unable to make a field goal to take the lead late in the first half. With very similar stat lines in field goals, rebounds, three-point makes and turnovers, no team was able to separate from the other after one period of play.
The second half was much of the same story as the teams traded scoring runs and droughts throughout the last 20 minutes of play. After trailing by as much as six points in the half, the Longhorns put a run together to take the lead with just 1:02 remaining in the game. Carlik Jones came up big for the Highlanders on the next possession putting Radford up by three points with 24 seconds remaining.
The Highlanders had a more balanced scoring attack with three players scoring in double digits (Texas had only one). Both teams mirrored each other on the stat sheet with Radford holding a slight advantage in shooting percentage – that slight advantage was enough to earn them the victory.
Struggling to find the bottom of the basket throughout Friday’s game, Carlik Jones came up big for his team late in the game. Jones has smooth jump shot with a high release that allows him to get his shot up and over taller defenders. He has a high basketball IQ and keeps his head up on the fast break. Jones did display negative body language in the first half when the Highlanders were struggling to score the basketball.
Dylan Osetkowski grabbed a career high 17 rebounds to go along with his nine points. Osetkowski struggled again from the behind-the-arc shooting just 1-fo-7 for the game (all from the corner). With opposing defenses giving him those shooting opportunities throughout this season, he needs to improve his outside shooting to make opposing teams rotate towards him defensively. An underrated athlete, Osetkowski was able to stay in front of driving guards and using his length to his advantage around the rim. He hedges well on pick-and-roll possessions and is able to disrupt passing lanes with his length and quick hands.
Texas (5-2) will host VCU next Wednesday (12/5). Radford (6-1) will continue on their five game road trip as they travel to James Madison for a contest next Tuesday (12/4).
This article was written by Justin Ullestad, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can follow us on Facebook, or on twitter. We are looking for those interested in our basketball scout apprenticeship program. For information contact us and forward your resume.