Campbell Clips CSU, 62-57February 2, 2012
by CSU Sports Information
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Charleston Southern limited Campbell to 36 percent shooting and nearly erased a late seven-point deficit, but could not get over the hump in a 62-57 loss at Gore Arena on Thursday night.
Despite recording a 31 percent field goal clip, CSU (14-8, 8-4) used a 6-1 spurt to draw within 58-57 on an Arlon Harper free-throw with 1:13 remaining. Campbell (15-10, 9-4) tallied the final four points of the contest, however, as Lorne Merthie came up with a key steal before Jeremy Sexton and Kelvin Martin misfired on potential game-tying three-pointers.
Saah Nimley paced the Bucs with 14 points and drilled four treys. Trey Freeman controlled play for the Fighting Camels, posting a game-high 22 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists.
“Over the course
of a 30-game schedule, you are gonna have a few nights like this along the way
and it has been a while since we had one,” said CSU head coach Barclay
Radebaugh. “We just didn’t shoot well. I thought defensively we got after it
very hard. We played with tremendous effort tonight. To shoot as poorly as we
did and still have a chance to win the game in the end is a testament to the
perseverance of this basketball team. We battled hard. We just came up a little
Anthony Horton’s three stretched Campbell’s advantage to 57-50 at the 3:59 mark, but CSU would not go down quietly. Martin hit a free-throw and connected on a floater in the lane, and Harper netted his first triple of the contest to make it 58-56 with 2:33 left. Harper was fouled on a drive several possessions later and had a chance to tie the score, but missed the first before swishing the second.
CSU had an opportunity at a run-out following a Freeman missed jumper on Campbell’s next trip down the floor, but Nimley was stripped by Merthie on the fast break. Freeman then hit a pair of free throws to open up a 60-57 Campbell lead, forcing CSU to go for the tie and overtime. Sexton came open for a good look at a corner three. The shot was short, but Mathiang Muo grabbed the offensive rebound and found Martin for another bid at a tie. That went begging as well, though, and Freeman sunk two more at the charity stripe to ice it.
The three-point line was a focal point for the Bucs, who attempted a season-high 35 threes and connected on nine (25.7%).
Campbell scored the initial four points of a back-and-forth first half which saw four ties and eight lead-changes. Eric Griffin was the focal point for Robbie Laing’s Fighting Camels, racking up 11 of his 13 points during the opening 20 minutes.
Nimley left the game early with an injury, but returned quickly and pumped in two three-pointers in a row in front of a Sexton trey which gave the Bucs a 15-14 lead. Neither club led by more than three for the rest of the stanza.
Campbell entered halftime with a 33-30 cushion, and built a 39-32 lead in the opening stages of the second half. Behind Nimley, CSU responded as the freshman point guard drove and found Martin for a deuce before sailing home two consecutive triples again to surge in front, 45-44 with 13:11 left.
Andrew Ryan answered back with a couple of three-balls of his own for Campbell, setting the stage for the dramatic final sequence.
Five Bucs finished with 5 or more rebounds to spearhead a spirited effort which produced a 46-39 advantage on the glass. Buoyed by the 6-8 Griffin, the Fighting Camels enjoyed a 30-14 margin in points in the paint.
CSU heads back to action on Saturday afternoon in Conway when they meet rival Coastal Carolina in a 2 p.m. tipoff that will be televised on MASN. Coverage can also be heard locally beginning at 1:50 on SportsRadio 1450 AM.
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