RADFORD, Va. – The Radford women’s basketball program is back inside the Dedmon Center on Saturday afternoon for a match-up with Big South leader Gardner-Webb.
SETTING THE STAGE
Opponent: Gardner-Webb (11-4, 3-0 Big South)
Date/Time: Saturday, January 7th at 2:00 p.m.
Location: Carilion Clinic Court at the Dedmon Center (Radford, Va.)
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The Highlanders and Runnin’ Bulldogs have faced each other 31 times dating back to 2003 with Radford owning a 19-12 series edge. Gardner-Webb took the last two meetings, however, with Radford winning the previous five meetings before that. As Radford and Gardner-Webb did not play each other in the shortened 2020-21 season, it’ll be just the third match-up in the last three years between the two squads.
SCOUTING THE RUNNIN’ BULLDOGS
Gardner-Webb will prove to be a large test for Radford as the opposing Runnin’ Bulldogs come into Saturday’s meeting with the best overall and conference record in the Big South. Gardner-Webb is off to a 3-0 start in conference play with two of their three victories coming against teams who placed in the top-three of the conference preseason poll.
Graduate student Jhessyka Williams is lighting up this season and leading the Big South in both points (18.8 ppg) and rebounds (10.5 rpg). Finding a way to slow Williams down will be pivotal, but Gardner-Webb features three more players who all average double digit points in Alasia Smith (13.2 ppg), Lauren Bevis (12.6 ppg) and Ki’Ari Cain (10.6 ppg).
LALONDE OVER 100
Rachel LaLonde has now eclipsed over 100 points and over 100 rebounds on the season as the senior continues to be one of the few Big South athletes to average close to a double-double. LaLonde currently owns 136 points and 118 rebounds this season, the only Highlander to have 100+ totals in both categories so far. It is the second straight season LaLonde has reached the 100 mark in both categories as she finished the 2021-22 season with 195 rebounds and 206 points.
BLOCKING AND STEALING
Two marks the Highlanders have vastly improved on compared to the 2021-22 season have been blocking shots and stealing. Radford ranks in the top-four of both categories for the Big South this season, averaging 8.4 steals and 3.9 blocks per game. LaLonde leads the blocking efforts with 14 while Trinity Klock also has 11. The freshmen trio of Ashlyn Traylor, Olivia Wagner and Maci Rhoades have combined for 60 of the team’s 118 steals.
FOLLOW RADFORD WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
To follow the Radford women’s basketball team throughout the season, visit RadfordAthletics.com, follow @Radford_WBB on Twitter, ‘radford_wbb’ Instagram or Radford Women’s Basketball on Facebook.