Senior forward Ed Polite Jr. broke the school record for career rebounds, but the Radford University’s men’s basketball team went cold in the second half and ultimately fell, 52-53, to Charleston Southern on Saturday night.
With 3:08 left in the game, Polite Jr. rose above everyone in the paint and pulled down a missed CSU 3-pointer to record his 13th of the game and the 1,065th of his career. He passes Highlander legend Javonte Green (2011-15) who had 1,064 in his storied career. Polite Jr. finished the game with 15 points and 15 rebounds for his 38th career double-double.
Redshirt sophomore guard Carlik Jones may have come as close as he ever has to a triple-double, going for 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in another strong performance.
Junior center Devonnte Holland was great in the post, contributing nine points and seven rebounds, and junior guard Donald Hicks finished with a career high-tying eight rebounds as well.
Despite those efforts, Radford shot just 17-for-59 (28.8%) from the floor including a brutal 5-for-28 (17.9%) from beyond the arc. Then, after starting the game 9-for-9 from the free throw line, the Highlanders ended the game just 13-for-20 (65.0%).
After a Holland layup put the Highlanders up 51-45 with 7:15 left in regulation, not a single field goal found the bottom of the net for the remainder of the game. The Buccaneers weren’t much better, but a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left gave them the win.
The career rebounding record wasn’t the only list Polite Jr. moved up on. The Lanham, Md. native also moved into third all-time for career free throws made, a tie for seventh all-time for career games played and a tie for ninth all-time for career games started.
With his eight assists, Jones also moved into seventh for single-season assists with 144. Brian Schmall (1992-93) currently holds the school record with 216.
The Highlanders were excellent on the boards Saturday night, earning a 50-35 advantage in rebounds. It was the first time Radford has reached the 50-rebound mark since Dec. 9, 2017 against Erskine when the team pulled down 51 in the Dedmon Center.
The Highlanders head back home for a highly anticipated rematch with Winthrop. The game is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Dedmon Center and will be broadcast live on ESPN+.