BUIES CREEK, N.C.-Tonisha Baker poured in 18 points, 10 assists, seven steals and six rebounds to lead Campbell past Winston-Salem State 72-60 Tuesday morning in Gore Arena. The crowd of 2,754 is the second-largest home crowd to see a Campbell women's basketball game.
The game's crowd is surpassed only by last season's Education Day, who sold out Gore Arena with 3,095 spectators (Dec.14, 2010).
Campbell improves to 6-1 on the season and 4-0 at home with the win, while WSSU falls to 2-4 on the year. The start is the sixth time in school history that a CU team has collected at least six wins in its first seven games, and the first since the 1985-86 season when the Lady Camels started 11-0.
"Our kids really came out well offensively, but Winston-Salem State gave us some troubles," said head coach Wanda Watkins. "I felt like we never could really get away from them. I hand it to our kids. I thought we hung in there even when Winston-Salem State made those great runs. It was a great team effort, and of course, Tonisha was sensational."
Baker, a junior guard, hit 8-of-14 shots from the floor, including 2-of-3 threes in the wire-to-wire Campbell win. The High Point, N.C. native's double-double of 18 points and 10 assists is her third of the season and the fifth of her career. Baker's 10 assists and seven steals both rank as career highs, while the junior's 18 points is a season-best.
Junior forward Jazmine Cooper added 13 points and six rebounds, while sophomore post Roslyn Presley tacked on 14 points off the bench, tying a career high. Sophomore guard Jessica Moore also registered a career-high 10 points off the bench, going a perfect 4-for-4 with a pair of threes.
Senior guard Kate Cloxton posted nine points with six assists and four boards. Cloxton has registered at least six dimes in five of her seven games this year. Sophomore post Heather Beadle led the Lady Camels on the glass with a career-high seven rebounds in just nine minutes of action. The Austin, Texas native added two steals and two assists to go along with two points.
Taylar Wells led WSSU with 12 points, while Jasmine Newkirk tallied nine points and five rebounds in the loss. LaQuanda Williams and Taneisha White added eight points apiece. Williams also collected six rebounds and four steals for the Rams.
After Baker notched the game's first five points on a three and a breakaway steal, the Lady Camels quickly built a double-digit lead, 17-7, by the 14:31 mark on a Cooper free throw.
Leading by as many as 11 in the first, the Lady Camels saw their lead dwindle to just four points with 4:09 remaining in the opening stanza when Taylar Wells' three cut the score to 28-24.
An 8-4 Campbell run that included a pair of Jessica Moore treys gave the Lady Camels a 36-28 lead at the half.
Out of the break, a Cloxton jumper gave the Lady Camels a double-digit cushion again. Leading by as many as 16 in the second frame, CU took the 72-60 home win.
Over 2,500 area fifth graders arrived on campus Tuesday morning with a pep rally starting at 9:30 a.m. in Gore Arena. Three education sessions, starting at 10 a.m., followed, featuring lessons in geography and math, and concluding with a day in the life of the college student presentation.
Following lunch, students saw the Lady Camels in action, taking on Winston-Salem State.
The event is geared to provide students a chance to visit a college campus, and emphasize the importance of college at a young age.
Next up for the Lady Camels is a road test at longtime rival UNC Wilmington on Dec. 10, following an 11 day break.