Jan 7, 2013
Buies Creek, N.C. — Trey Freeman scored a season-high 24 points and Campbell closed the third overtime on a 10-0 run to lead Campbell to a 93-81 win over Gardner-Webb in the Big South Conference opener for both schools Saturday at Gore Arena.
Darius Leonard hit career highs with 16 points and 15 rebounds, Darren White scored 16 and Darian Hooker 15 (11 in the 3 OT periods) for the Camels (6-9, 1-0), who won their third-straight game and never trailed in the final OT session.
Freeman matched his season high with 9 assists and made 12-of-14 from the free throw line while playing 51 minutes. Reco McCarter added 9 rebounds and 7 assists, while Hooker made 4 steals for the game and scored 9 of Campbell’s 18 points in the final OT segment.
Leonard finished 8-of-11 from the field and Marvelle Harris equaled his career high with 5 blocked shots for the Camels, who defeated East Carolina 86-81 in overtime just three days earlier.
Tashan Newsome led Gardner-Webb (8-7, 0-1) with a game-high 26 points on 8-of-23 from the field, 10-of-13 from the line and pulled down a team-leading 9 rebounds. Kevin Hartley added 13, Max Landis 12 and Donta Harper 10 for the Bulldogs, who closed regulation on a 14-4 run to force extra time.
“There were lots of opportunities for our kids to say this wasn’t going to be our day, but they refused to give up,” said Campbell head coach Robbie Laing. “We had to be as mentally tough as we could be to beat a very, very good Gardner-Webb team. We made some mistakes down the stretch, but we’ve faced adversity all year, and found a way to come out on top.”
In the third overtime, Hooker scored 9 of Campbell’s 18 points and put the Camels in front (78-75) with a long three from the right wing with 3:59 to play. After Newsome cut Campbell’s lead to 83-81 with a pair of free throws with 2:00 to play, Hooker again hit from the same spot to close Campbell’s game-ending burst.
Newsome missed a triple and Freeman fed Reco McCarter for a dunk in transition, then the Camels made 5-of-6 from the line in the last 1:16 to seal the victory.
Campbell led 75-74 with 4.4 seconds to play in the second OT when Marvelle Harris drove for a short bank shot on the right blocks. However, Harris fouled Newsome in the back court with 1.5 seconds left to give Gardner-Webb’s senior guard a chance to regain the lead from the line.
Newsome made the first foul shot, but missed the second and Leonard rebounded to send Campbell to its first triple-overtime game since Feb. 11, 1988, when the Camels fell 95-84 to Radford at Fayetteville’s Cumberland County Arena.
The Camels nearly claimed the lead at the end of the first extra period, but Leonard’s jump hook with 5.8 seconds remaining left his hand after the shot clock buzzer sounded. Newsome drove to the free throw line in the final seconds, but his 15-footer came up short leaving the game tied at 71.
White’s drive put the Camels ahead 60-50 with 5:08 left in the second half. Hartley’s 3 trimmed the gap to 60-58 with 3:06 to go and White left the contest with an injury to his left leg with 2:55 to go and did not return.
Freeman hit a pair of free throws with 2:09 to go, then put the Camels in front 64-58 with 40 seconds to play, but Hartley again connected from 3-point distance with 22.6 seconds to go. Leonard missed two from the line with 20.8 left and Hooker fouled freshman Isaiah Ivey beyond the arc with 4.4 seconds remaining.
Ivey sank all three foul shots to tie the score at 71. Hooker’s 40-footer hit the backboard and hung on the rim before falling off to send the game into OT.
Campbell committed 11 turnovers in the first 11:28 of play and Gardner-Webb jumped to a 25-16 lead when Max Landis knocked down a pair of free throws with 6:19 left in the half. The Camels, however, answered with a 13-2 run with 8 of the points following Bulldog turnovers.
Hooker’s lay-up in transition gave the Camels their first lead (29-27) with 1:02 left. After Newsome missed the second of two foul shots with 6.6 seconds to go, McCarter rebounded and raced the floor for a long jumper to tie the game (31-31) at the break.
Campbell shot 60 percent (12-20) from the field in the opening half against the league’s top-rated defensive field goal percentage team. Leonard hit double figures for the second-straight game with 10 first-half points.
The Camels finished the game shooting 49.2 percent (31-63) from the field, 4-of-12 from 3-point range and hit 27-of-42 (.643) from the stripe. CU committed 21 turnovers, but only 10 during the final 43:32 of the contest, and finished with a 30-16 edge in points off turnovers. Campbell won the battle of the boards 48-45.
Gardner-Webb shot just 35.1 percent (27-77) from the floor, 6-of-22 (.273) beyond the arc, and 21-of-28 from the line (.750).
Campbell plays the first of 3-straight Big South road games Wednesday at Longwood (7:00 p.m.).