Seven-foot center Earl Jones played one of his finest games, scoring a career-high 42 points and blocking eight shots last night in helping the University of the District of Columbia defeat Radford, 104-92, at the Physical Activities Center.
Jones made 13 of 16 shots from the floor, including eight of 10 in the first half. The 70 percent free-throw shooter also made 16 of 19 from the line.
The Firebirds' leading scorer, Michael Britt, had 24 points.
"The opportunity to score points was just there," said Jones. "Since it was there, I just took it. As for the free throws, I'm normally a pretty good shooter from there anyway."
UDC (17-2) started out to a 10-0 lead with two baskets each by Jones (22 points in the first half) and Greg Carson. A driving layup by Radford's Steve Orr brought the Highlanders (11-7) to 46-39 with 3:22 remaining in the first half. It was the closest they would get that half.
Two free throws by Neal Robertson stretched the lead to 52-41, and two free throws by Jones with 44 seconds remaining gave UDC a 56-40 halftime lead.
At the start of the second half, Radford began a rally. Billy Myers made five 20-footers early in the period, the last coming at 13:10, to pull the Highlanders to 70-63. Four minutes later, David Pierce tapped in a missed shot to cut the Firebirds' lead to 75-70.
Jones then took over again. After starting the half slowly, he scored 10 straight points for an 85-70 advantage. Later Jones converted seven consecutive free throws for a 98-82 margin with 2:32 remaining. The Firebirds were never again threatened.