Tanner’s 3-pointers help Radford stun Notre Dame, 63-60
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Caleb Tanner scored 20 points and fellow senior Ed Polite Jr. added 16 points as Radford stunned Notre Dame, 63-60, Thursday night.
Tanner was 7-of-11 shooting from the field, including 6 of 9 on 3-pointers for coach Mike Jones’ Highlanders, now 3-0. Polite added 11 rebounds for a double-double and Travis Fields scored 11 points before limping off with 1:59 left.
John Mooney, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, had career highs with 24 points and 12 rebounds for Notre Dame (2-1). He had 18 points in the first half, all from beyond the arc. He finished 8 of 16 from the field, including 6-of-9 shooting on 3-pointers.
Teammate T.J. Gibbs added 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting but missed all eight 3-pointers. His final one, from past midcourt, missed everything at the buzzer.
Mooney was on fire from the start and ended the first half with 18 points, tying his previous best of 18 at North Carolina last Feb. 12. His start wasn’t what he wanted - Mooney went up for a dunk and it was denied by Radford’s Mawdo Sallah with the game scoreless less than two minutes in.
Tanner got going with the first of his four 3-pointers in the half, but Notre Dame pulled out to its biggest lead of the half, 17-7, when Gibbs scored Notre Dame’s first 2-pointer of the half with 10:54 remaining.
Tanner, who had 14 points in the first 20 minutes, later outscored the Irish 8-2 with the help of two 3-pointers to pull his team within one, 24-23, with 4:24 to play. The Irish then closed with a 10-5 run for a 34-28 lead at the intermission.
The Highlanders started the second half on a 6-1 run before Gibbs hit a jumper in the lane and Brey called a timeout with 18:05 remaining and the Irish up 37-34. But a 7-3 run after play resumed, ending with Fields’ 3-pointer, gave Radford a 41-40 lead with 15:57 to play. It was the first time in three games that Notre Dame had trailed.
A 7-0 Radford run, the final two on Holland’s put-back, made it 54-52 with 8:02 to play. The lead grew to six, 59-53, after Tanner’s sixth 3-pointer and Brey called another timeout with 4:47 to play. Radford’s biggest lead was six on two occasions late in the second half.
Radford: The Highlanders, who made the NCAA field of 68 last season after winning the Big South Tournament, beat LIU Brooklyn before falling to eventual champion Villanova. They were picked to win the Big South this season. Against the Irish, who were one of the last teams out of the NCAA field and are rebuilding, Radford managed just 10-of-32 shooting (31 percent) from the field. Tanner was 5 of 7 from the field, including 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point line in scoring 14.
Notre Dame: With 3:43 to go in the half, the Irish were 9-of-23 shooting from the field with only two 2-pointers. They started by hitting their first five 3-pointers - four by Mooney and another by freshman Robby Carmody. They were 8 of 18 from beyond the arc - six by Mooney (on eight tries) and one each by Carmody and D.J. Harvey, who had two 2-pointers along with T.J. Gibbs. Notre Dame finished 12 of 30 from the floor.
Mooney came into the game with just a 3-pointer this season in two attempts. In his career, he was 34 of 80 from behind the 3-point line, the majority coming last season when he made 31 of 74 3-point attempts.
Radford: Saturday at Duquesne in second of three-game road trip.
Notre Dame: Saturday at home against William & Mary.