November 15, 2018 / 2:41 AM / 4 months ago

Radford sticks Notre Dame with first loss

EditorsNote: rewords seventh graf

Senior guard Caleb Tanner had a night to remember, which gave Radford a win it won’t soon forget.

Stepping in as a starter, Tanner scored a team-high 20 points to lead the Highlanders (3-0) to a 63-60 victory over Notre Dame (2-1) in South Bend, Ind., on Wednesday.

John Mooney had career highs for points (24) and rebounds (12) for the Irish, who never trailed in their first two games before trailing by as many as six in the second half Wednesday.

Notre Dame forced a shot-clock violation with 14.9 seconds remaining to set up one final possession down by three points. A 3-point attempt by TJ Gibbs wasn’t close.

Radford’s top scorer, Carlik Jones, did not play, reportedly for disciplinary reasons. His replacement was Tanner, who came into the contest averaging 10 points. He scored 11 in the first 16 minutes on Wednesday.

Irish coach Mike Brey mentioned Tuesday that getting the game Wednesday against Radford would be a good NCAA Tournament resume win. Radford is an NCAA-experienced team that advanced further in the postseason last spring than the Irish.

A Robby Carmody 3-pointer allowed Notre Dame to open a 10-point lead barely eight minutes in. However, the difference was shaved to one late in the first half before an 8-0 Irish burst, which included Mooney’s sixth 3-pointer, helped push Notre Dame to a 34-28 lead at the break.

Still searching for a combination that clicks, Brey shuffled his starting lineup for the second time in three regular-season games.

Out went Carmody, who became the first Irish freshman to start the season opener since 2002, and in went senior Elijah Burns.

Notre Dame’s season-opening, seven-game homestand continues Saturday against William & Mary.

Wednesday’s first-ever visit to Notre Dame started a stretch of three in a row and eight of nine away from home for Radford. Next up for the Highlanders is a game Saturday against Duquesne.

That one will be played at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio — the alma mater of LeBron James. An NCAA Division II volleyball championship at Duquesne’s arena in downtown Pittsburgh necessitated the move.

—Field Level Media

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