DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Travis Fields Jr. and Ed Polite Jr. each scored 13 points to lift Radford to its first-ever NCAA Tournament win, 71-61 over LIU Brooklyn in the First Four on Tuesday night.
Carlik Jones added 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for the Highlanders, who move on to face No. 1 seed Villanova on Thursday in Pittsburgh. Radford, the Big South champion, is making its third tournament appearance and first since 2009.
LIU Brooklyn stayed within striking distance for much of the game and got to within a point with five minutes left, but a 9-1 surge by the Highlanders allowed them to close it out.
The Blackbirds went without a field goal in the last seven minutes of the game and shot 30.4 percent in the second half. Both teams were plagued by turnovers.
Jashaun Agosto scored 16 points and Raiquan Clark added 14 for LIU Brooklyn, which is winless in seven trips to the tournament.
Radford led 30-28 at the end of a sloppy first half after leading by as many as nine. The Blackbirds scored 11 of their points on nine turnovers by Radford but were just 3 for 13 from beyond the 3-point line in the half.
LIU Brooklyn: Got hot in the Northeast Conference tournament but couldn't sustain it on the big stage, shooting just 38 percent compared to 47.5 percent for Radford.
Radford: At times the Highlanders looked like they didn't want it, either, but they played better in the second half on the back of Jones, who had a career-high seven assists to go with his double-double.
LIU Brooklyn: On to next season.
Radford: Faces No. 1 seed Villanova in the first round of the tournament on Thursday.
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