Houston Baptist deals Campbell 87-76 road setback

HOUSTON, TEXAS – Marcel Smith led six Houston Baptist players in double figures with 14 points and the Huskies dealt Campbell just its second loss of the year 87-76 Wednesday night at Sharp Gym.

Smith hit all 7 of his free throws for HBU (4-6), which made 20-of-27 from the line and shot 52 percent from the floor.  Ronald March and Marcus Davis added 12 points each, Tyler Russell had 11, while Art Bernardi and Anthony Hill chipped in 10 apiece for the Huskies.

Campbell committed 18 turnovers, which the hosts converted into a 26-4 advantage in points off miscues.

Eric Griffin led Campbell (8-2) with 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor and 9-of-12 from the line, plus 8 rebounds.  Trey Freeman added 19 points, while Darren White scored 18 and grabbed 10 boards for the Camels, who made just 19-of-31 free throws (.613) and shot 26-of-57 (.456) from the floor.

After trailing 40-38 at half-time, the Camels jumped in front on White's 3 to open the final stanza.  Griffin's dunk put CU ahead 50-47 with 17:15 to play.  However, HBU answered with a 9-0 run and never trailed again, handing 21st-year head coach Ron Cottrell his 400th career win.

Griffin made the second of two free throws with 2:53 to cut the gap to 75-70, but the Camels missed their next four attempts from the field and Houston Baptist went 6-of-6 from the line over the last 1:30.

Campbell entered the game leading the nation in team field goal percentage (.535), but was held to its second-lowest shooting mark of the season by HBU, which lost 82-68 on Nov. 11 at Buies Creek in the season opener for both teams. 

The Camels came into the contest leading the Big South Conference in free throw accuracy, but made a season-low (.613) rate from the stripe.

CU continues its road stretch Saturday in a 4:00 p.m. start at Virginia Tech.

Notes:  Griffin returned to the starting lineup after missing last Saturday's win over Methodist with 14 stitches in his right hand and produced his fourth double-double of the season… Lorne Merthie saw his first action of the season after missing the first nine games with a knee injury and scored 2 points in 9 minutes.