Camels defeat VMI 67-53

Andrew Eudy
(Chuck Steenburgh photo)
Andrew Eudy (Chuck Steenburgh photo)

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Box Score (PDF)

LEXINGTON, VA. – Chris Clemons scored 24 points and Campbell used big runs in both halves to defeat VMI 67-53 Saturday at Cameron Hall.

Shane Whitfield added 13 points while Andrew Eudy chipped in a career-high nine for the Camels (2-3), who hit 9-of-16 threes (.563) on the day and broke open a close game with a 21-5 burst in the second period.

VMI (1-4) trailed by six at the break (29-23), but pulled with two on Adrian Rich's bucket with 18:45 to go.  Whitfield's drive to the hoop started a 14-3 bust that the Camels extended to 21-5.

Saturday's victory was Campbell's fifth in the last seven games against its former Big South Conference rival and the first ever for the Camels in five trips to Cameron Hall.

QJ Peterson, the Southern Conference's leading scorer at 22 points per game, was the lone Keydet in double figures with 17 points on 5-of-18 shooting.  However, he was held without a point with more than 16 minutes as the Camels turned a 10-point deficit into a double-digit lead.

Whitfield's back-door layup off Clemon's feed gave Campbell its largest lead (57-36) with 7:12 to go and VMI was unable to draw closer than 12 the rest of the way.

The Big South's leading scorer (22.0), Clemons made 5-of-9 threes on the day, dealt three assists and had two steals.  Whitfield had nine of his points in the second half after VMI cut the lead to 29-27, and Eudy added three blocks for the Camels, who shot 48 percent (24-50) from the floor after a 1-for-12 start.

The Camels held VMI to 32 percent shooting (20-62) and 5-of-25 from 3-point territory (.200), while finishing with a 41-36 edge on the glass.  Freshman Damontez Oliver led CU with a season-high 10 rebounds.

"This was a huge road win for us, especially where we are as a program with so many young players," said Campbell head coach Kevin McGeehan.  "Our guys played really, really hard and I was so impressed with our defense overall.  The guys were really plugged in today."

After a cold start (1-of-12), Campbell closed the first half on a 24-8 run and led by six (29-23) at the break.  Peterson's free throw gave VMI a 15-5 edge with 11:32 left in the half, but the Keydets missed 11 of their final 13 shots in the period.

Khadre' Lane's 3 ended an 8:39 drought from the floor for the Camels and ignited a 19-3 burst.  Clemons had nine points in the flurry, including a pair of threes and a breakaway slam.  CU extended its margin to as many as eight (29-21) on Eudy's reverse layup with 1:30 to play.

Campbell knocked down 6-of-10 triples in the opening half, including their last four beyond the arc, and hit eight of its last 15 shots overall in the period.  Campbell hit 33 percent (9-27) of its first half shots, while VMI made just 9-of-31 (.290).

In four seasons under the guidance of head coach Kevin McGeehan, Campbell owns a 6-2 record against Southern Conference foes. Since the start of the 2013-14 campaign, Campbell stands 2-0 vs. VMI, 1-0 vs. The Citadel and 0-2 vs. Samford.  The Camels were unbeaten against former SoCon members Appalachian State (1-0) and Georgia Southern (2-0) in the span.

The Camels return home Monday to host Allen University at 7:00 p.m.