Camels hold off late Georgia Southern rally 69-63

Quinton Ray
Quinton Ray (

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell held off a late rally and defeated visiting Georgia Southern 69-63 Monday night at Gore Arena to sweep a two-game season series from the Eagles.

Freshman point guard Quinton Ray scored all 10 of his points in the second half and made both ends of a one-and-one chance with 22.3 seconds left.  One month ago Ray's steal and lay-in at the buzzer gave the Camels a 75-73 victory in overtime at Statesboro.

On Monday, Darius Leonard and Andrew Ryan scored 13 points each to lead a balanced effort as Campbell (6-7) won its second-straight game.  Reco McCarter added 9 points and Kyre' Hamer 8 for Campbell, which shot 56 percent in the second half and led by as many as 14.

Tre' Bussey led Georgia Southern (7-8) with 18 points, while Jelani Hewitt, who entered the game as the Southern Conference's leading scorer (21.1) finished with 13 on 4-of-14 shooting.  Marvin Baynham and Brian Holmes finished with 11 apiece for the Eagles, who shot 41 percent on the night.

Campbell led 51-37 with 10:04 to play after Marvelle Harris dunked a lob pass from D.J. Mason to cap a 16-5 run.

However, Georgia Southern answered with a 12-4 burst and cut the gap to 61-60 when Holmes knocked down a triple from the right wing with 2:00 remaining.  On the next trip down the floor, McCarter drove to the bucket to push the advantage.

Leek Leek then blocked Bussey's attempt with 1:05 to go and Ray grabbed the rebound.  As the shot clock wound down, Ray then drove down the left side of the lane and scored at the rim with 33 seconds to play for a 65-60 edge.

Hewitt hit 3 free throws with 23.7 seconds remaining, but Ray and fellow freshman Hamer both hit both ends of one-and-one chances down the stretch to seal the victory.

"I thought we had contributions all across the board tonight," said Campbell head coach Kevin McGeehan.  "Every single guy brought something and that's how you get a tough team win like this one."

Campbell matched its season low with 11 turnovers, and had only four in the second half.  CU also out-rebounded the Eagles 37-27 and finished with a 10-3 edge in second-chance points.  Campbell's bench outscored the Georgia Southern reserves 22-4.

"We did a good job of executing things we've been emphasizing in practice – attention to detail and not turning the ball over," said McGeehan.

Campbell finished the game shooting 43.6 percent (24-55) from the floor and knocked down 13-of-15 free throws, including all 10 in the second half.  CU hit 8-of-26 from 3-point distance.

The Eagles finished the night shooting 41.2 percent (21-51) from the field, 4-of-18 (.222) from long range and 17-of-22 (.773) from the line.  Georgia Southern committed just 9 turnovers, but the Camels converted those into 17 points.

GSU opened the game on a 9-0 run before Campbell hit 5 of 7 shots and cut the gap to 14-13 with 11:16 to play on Mason's spin move down the right baseline.

Ryan knocked down a triple from the right corner to give the Camels a 29-26 lead at the half.  Leonard scored 11 first-half points, hitting 3-of-4 from 3-point range, while Ryan had 7.  Campbell made just 10-of-30 shots in the opening period, but connected on 6-of-16 beyond the arc.

Georgia Southern shot 33 percent (9-27) in the opening stanza, but only 1-of-9 from 3-point territory.  Bussey scored 9 first-half points, while Hewitt, who had a career-high 38 in Campbell's win last month at Statesboro, had 6 in the first period on 2-of-6 shooting.

The Camels continue their home stand Thursday against East Carolina (7:00) and Saturday vs. Delaware State (7:00).