Late run lifts Campbell over Presbyterian 77-65

Rico Ferguson
(photo by Dana Laing)
Rico Ferguson (photo by Dana Laing)

CLINTON, S.C. – Campbell closed the game on a 19-4 run and defeated Presbyterian 77-65 in Big South men's basketball action Saturday night at Templeton Arena.

The Camels (10-7, 4-1) led 46-29 on Trey Freeman's 18-foot jumper before PC answered with a 22-5 run capped by Khalid Mutakabbir's 3 from the left wing that tied the score at 51 with 9:49 remaining.

Al'Lonzo Coleman's 3-point play put the Blue Hose (8-8, 2-4) ahead 61-58 with 5:10 remaining. However, the Camels scored 17 of the next 19 points down the stretch and ended a 6-game road losing streak.

The Big South's leading scorer Darren White tallied 18 of his game-high 22 points in the final half, including a 3 from the right corner that put CU in front for good 63-61 with 4:08 to go. 

Eric Griffin battled foul trouble most of the night and added 16 points in 22 minutes for the Camels, who have won 2 of their last 3 games. Freeman (5 assists) and Marvelle Harris (8 rebounds) added 10 points.

CU, which entered the game ranked fourth nationally in field goal percentage (.505), shot 57 percent (29-51) from the floor and held a 31-24 edge on the glass.

Mutakabbir and Pierre Miller (4-of-6 threes) led Presbyterian with 16 points each. Coleman contributed 13, while Joshua Clyburn led all rebounders with 10.

"I thought we came on the floor with a great mindset," said Campbell head coach Robbie Laing. "As always in road games, we went through adversity, but built a 17-point lead. We kept our composure through their run. Then we were solid enough with our mind set and Presbyterian expended so much energy that we were able to capitalize down the stretch."

Presbyterian has suffered back-to-back losses for just the 2nd time this year.

Campbell grabbed the lead with an 11-2 run midway through the first half and grabbed a 21-15 lead. Griffin scored 11 of CU's points before picking up his second foul with 9:47 to go and the Camels in front by six. However, CU extended the margin to as many as 10 with balanced scoring and led 36-26 at half-time.

Eight Camels other than Griffin scored between 2 and 4 points in the opening stanza. Campbell made 15-of-26 shots (.577) in the opening period, while holding PC to just 43 percent (9-21) shooting.

The Camels also turned an 18-9 rebounding edge into an 8-2 advantage in second-chance points.

Saturday's game was the first-ever between the schools in men's basketball. The teams will also play Feb. 4 at Buies Creek.

Campbell returns home next week for games against defending champion UNC Asheville (Thursday, 7 pm) and Gardner-Webb (Jan. 14, 1 pm).