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Hurricanes fall to late Highlander surge in final exhibition tilt

From STAFF REPORTS

RADFORD, Va. – A strong second half from Radford led the Highlanders to a 72-63 win over the Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) men’s basketball team in the final exhibition game of the season at the Dedmon Center on Nov. 10.
The Hurricanes got off to a good start for the second time in as many games against a Division 1 opponent on the road, this time against a Big South Conference foe.
GSW took a 32-30 lead into the locker room after shooting 13-of-27 (48.1 percent) and answering three extended runs by the Highlanders. R.J. Sessions had 10 points at the break to lead the Hurricanes, followed by Quenten Taylor with seven while John Mason and Devin Watson each had six.
Radford’s size advantage caught up to GSW in the second half as the Highlanders converted several second chance opportunities with putbacks and three-pointers that led to 15 points. Radford ended the night with a 45-28 advantage on the boards, including 23-8 on the offensive end that ultimately made the difference in the game. The Highlanders shot 44 percent from the floor in the second half after Georgia Southwestern held them to 39 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes.
GSW wouldn’t go away without a fight as John Mason and Devin Watson kept the Hurricanes within striking distance. Mason knocked down four three-pointers on the way to 14 points and four rebounds, while Watson recorded 14 points of his own on six-of-nine shooting from the floor. R.J. Sessions finished with 12 points after struggling to score the ball in the second half.
GSW veteran, Watson, and freshman, Mason, each found clutch baskets in the second half to end Radford runs and help the Hurricanes stay in the game. Mason was forced to play a big role with Hasaan Buggs sidelined due to an injury and he stepped up with the six-foot-six forward unavailable.
The Hurricanes open the regular season on Nov. 15 at Albany State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.