BUIES CREEK, N.C.-Tonisha Baker scored a game-high 18 points to lead Campbell past Gardner-Webb 62-52 in the Big South opener for both teams Friday night in Gore Arena.
Campbell moves to 8-4 overall and 1-0 in Big South play with the win, while Gardner-Webb dips to 1-10 and 0-1 in conference games. The contest was the Lady Camels' first as a Big South member in a conference game since 1994, as Campbell played in the Atlantic Sun from 1994-2011.
Baker, a junior guard, gathered 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting, adding five steals in the win. Jazmine Cooper and Katelyn Bass joined Baker in double figures with 12 points apiece. Cooper added nine rebounds while Bass grabbed seven.
Senior guard Kate Cloxton posted seven assists, marking her seventh game this season with six or more dimes. Freshman guard Kiera Gaines chipped in seven boards with three blocks and three points. Jessica Moore, a sophomore guard, notched four points and five rebounds.
Jasmine Dale paced Gardner-Webb with 16 points, while Catrina Green posted 12 points and seven rebounds. Brianna Dillard added nine points and five rebounds in the loss.
Tied at 16 in the opening frame, Katelyn Bass' jumper sparked an 8-0 run for the Lady Camels, taking a 24-16 lead on a Tonisha Baker bucket.
After forcing 11 first half turnovers, Campbell held a 28-21 lead at the break.
Out of the half, the Lady Camels, led by six from Baker, notched a 15-3 run over the first five minutes of the second stanza to take a 43-24 lead.
Still up 19 at 47-28 with 12:06 to play, Green's layup kick-started a 13-3 spurt for the Bulldogs, led by six points from Dillard, cutting the CU advantage to nine with 6:22 on the clock.
Bass' jumper broke the Gardner-Webb run, giving the Lady Camels back a double-figure cushion.
The Bulldogs would cut the lead down to nine once more on Dale's three pointer with 3:23 to go, but O'Neill's free throw, followed by a lay-in put the lead back in double digits for good, as the Lady Camels took the 62-52 win.
The Lady Camels will be back in action after the New Year, facing Big South rival UNC Asheville on Jan. 2 in Buies Creek.