Monday, April 15, 2024

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Burlington School alum leads Radford in Sunday win over Elon


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.

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“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.”

Radford’s Josiah Jeffers was a postgame guest with Radford radio broadcaster Rick Watson.

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

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