UNC Asheville deals Campbell 78-61 setback Saturday at Gore Arena

Reco McCarter
(Bennett Scarborough photo)
Reco McCarter (Bennett Scarborough photo)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Jeremy Atkinson led four UNC Asheville players in double figures with 22 points and the Bulldogs dealt Campbell a 78-61 loss Saturday at Gore Arena.

Asheville (13-10, 7-2) shot 55.8 percent on the day and extended its winning streak to five games.  D.J. Cunningham added 17 points, Keith Hornsby 14, plus 8 assists and Trent Meyer 12 with 4 steals for the Bulldogs, who improved to 5-0 against Big South Conference North Division teams.

Darian Hooker led Campbell (10-13, 5-4) with 18 points.  Trey Freeman added 16 and Marvelle Harris 11 for the Camels, who dropped their third-straight outing despite shooting 61 percent in the second half.

Asheville scored the first nine points of the game and closed the opening half on a 15-4 run to take a 38-22 lead at the break.  Campbell opened the second half on a 14-6 run and cut the gap to 8 points (44-36) on Marvelle Harris' steal and dunk with 15:25 to play.

However, the Bulldogs responded with a 15-4 burst, including 9-straight points to push the gap to 59-40 with 10:41 left and extended the margin to as much as 23 down the stretch. 

Atkinson had 13 points in the first period on 5-of-8 shooting, while D.J. Cunningham and Keith Hornsby added 7 each for the Bulldogs, who shot 54 percent (13-24) before half-time.  Campbell, meanwhile, made only 8-of-26 shots in the first half (.308).

On the day, Atkinson made 9-of-16 shots, Cunningham 6-of-8 and Meyer knocked down 4-of-7.  Asheville made 7-of-10 threes and 13-of-15 (.867) from the stripe to end Campbell's 4-game home court win streak.

Campbell committed 20 turnovers, which Asheville turned into 31 points.  The defending Big South champs finished with a 40-30 edge on points in the paint.

The Camels shot 44.9 percent for the game, but couldn't overcome 31 percent shooting in the first period while playing in front of the sixth-largest crowd in Gore Arena history.

Hooker matched his career high by making 6-of-10 from the floor, 2-of-5 threes and 4-of-5 from the line, while grabbing 4 steals.  Freeman dealt 4 assists and had 4 steals, while Reco McCarter added 8 points, a game-high 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

Since starting the year 1-6, the Bulldogs have won 12 of their last 16 games, including a 72-65 triumph at Big East member St. John's (Dec. 21).  Campbell played its eighth-straight game without leading scorer Darren White (21.8 ppg), who suffered a knee injury on Jan. 5 in a win over Gardner-Webb.

The Camels host High Point Wednesday (Feb. 6) at 7:00 p.m.  Asheville entertains Winthrop Wednesday at 7.