Longwood dropped their eight straight game to Radford Wednesday night 83-73 on the road, but the Lancers game on the court won’t be the top story leaving this one. We mentioned that the last time these two teams hooked up in 2004 that the game ended in a fight between Michael Jefferson and Whit Holcomb-Faye. History repeated itself and may have ignited an in-state rivalry.
The Lancers started out the game on a 7-0 run and Radford coach Mike Jones called a timeout. The Highlanders responded to Jones’ timeout with an 18-2 run. Longwood played a pretty atrocious first half going in down 41-31 and turned the ball over 11 times. At the half this looked like a game that may end in a blowout.
Tristan Carey came out for the second half on fire and had an 11-0 run on his own. The Lancers were even able to tie the game on a couple of occasions in the second half, but things went pretty wrong with about four and half minutes left…
After a missed shot from Longwood, Radford’s Kion Brown and Michael Kessens began to throw punches at each other in front of the Lancers bench. Jeylani Dublin and Jeff Havenstein left the Longwood bench in the skirmish and were ejected from the game and could face a possible suspension. Neither Kessens or Brown were ejected, but they were assessed a technical foul. Mike Gillian repeatedly said after the game that he thought Longwood was not to blame and the refs handled the situation poorly. The fight was merely a couple of feet from Longwood’s bench, so in all honesty it was hard for players not to get involved.
In the end, the shorthanded Lancers couldn’t pull it out and the dreaded intentional foul sequence ended the game as the Lancers fell 82-72. RJ Price dropped 30 points on the Lancers, while TT Carey ended the night with 23 points. The real story on the court had to be the absent of Nik Brown during the second half. Brown only played 14 minutes in the game and did not play in the second half. It is unclear whether Brown was injured, sick, or benched. In his absence Lucas Woodhouse had a career game with his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 assists. The offense also ran a whole lot better in the second half with Woodhouse at the helm.
Longwood now moves on to play two time defending Big South champion UNC Asheville who lost to Charleston Southern on Wednesday. The biggest question now is will Jeylani Dubling, Jeff Havenstein, or Nik Brown miss the game due to injury or suspension?
Mike Gillian’s first comments on the post game show, “We showed a lot of fight”. Are things spiraling out of control for Longwood or will this ignite a spark?