By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
When Radford’s men’s basketball schedule came out, Josiah Jeffers took particular note of Sunday afternoon’s game.
It was at Elon, so basically a hometown game in his final college season.
“When I saw it, I got excited,” he said.
He turned that into good production, providing team highs with 17 points and six assists in Radford’s 69-53 victory against Elon at Schar Center.
“Whatever I had to do to get the win,” said Jeffers, a former standout for The Burlington School. “Just being able to bring energy to my guys. Just being able to stay positive. I’ve accepted a big leadership role on this year’s team.”
After delivering an assist for a basket that put the Highlanders (4-3) in the lead, Jeffers made consecutive baskets as Radford took its largest advantage at 42-36 and resulted in an Elon timeout with 15:18 left.
That was one of several stellar stretches for Jeffers, who had a few dozen supporters in the crowd. His family is based in Burlington and Elon.
Second-year coach Darris Nichols of Radford said team members were cognizant in the days leading to the game that this would be a big deal for Jeffers. They were glad to have him along for the trip.
“I try to get my guys going when I can,” Jeffers said, noting that his improvement during his college years has come through “my approach and my confidence. Putting them together and being more vocal on the court.”
Jeffers had a solid start to the season with 12 points in a 79-69 loss at Marquette and 13 points in a 79-76 setback at Notre Dame in the first two games. He posted 17 points in a neutral-site victory against Army.
After averaging a team-high 10 points last season while making 23 starts, he said he wanted to finish his collegiate career with the Highlanders with a final season of eligibility. He’s a fifth-year player in the program.
“Seeing it through has been a very positive thing for me,” he said. “We’re still building and putting the pieces together. Just staying with them and trusting the process.”
Elon (1-6) lost its sixth game in a row despite 15 points from Sean Halloran, a career-high 13 points and seven rebounds from sophomore center Sam Sherry and 10 points from Torrence Watson.
The Phoenix is home again at 4:00 p.m. Saturday against UNC Greensboro. First-year Elon coach Billy Taylor is a former UNCG assistant coach from 1999-2002