Camels rally to defeat Citadel 97-91 in Holy City Hoops Classic

Shane Whitfield
(Zach Bland photo)
Shane Whitfield (Zach Bland photo)

Follow Campbell Men's Basketball: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Box Score (PDF)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Shane Whitfield scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Campbell to a 97-91 win over host The Citadel in the Holy City Hoops Classic Sunday at McAlister Field House.

Big South Conference scoring leader Chris Clemons added 27 points for the Camels (5-4), who shot 67 percent (20-30) from the floor in the second half and 60 percent (33-55) for the game.  Freshman Cory Gensler added a season-best 12 points, including 6-of-6 from the line, plus five assists.

Whitfield scored 23 points in the second half and hit 9-of-15 from the floor on the day, 11-of-12 from the line, as the Camels recovered from a 12-point deficit in the opening half to win their second-straight game.  Kyre' Hamer added nine points and three steals before fouling out with 1:15 to go and Andrew Eudy chipped in nine (all in the second half), plus two blocks and three steals.

Clemons hit 4-of-8 threes, 5-of-6 from the stripe, and dealt four assists for the Camels, who connected on 8-of-17 (.471) beyond the arc.

Zane Najdawi led The Citadel (6-4) with 21 points and 11 boards.  Preston Parks added 20 points on 6-of-17 shooting, Matt Frierson had 14, Frankie Johnson 12 and Quayson Williams 11 for the Bulldogs, who shot 42 percent from the floor, but finished 11 points below their NCAA-leading season scoring average (102.7).

After trailing by 12 late in the first half and by eight at the break (44-36), Campbell exploded for 61 second-half points against The Citadel press.

Kaelon Harris hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to put the hosts in front 73-71 with 5:39 remaining, but Whitfield laid it in at the other end when the Camels broke Citadel's full-court pressure to start a decisive 15-4 run.  Eudy's move on the right blocks gave Campbell the lead for good (75-73) with 4:59 left, then the sophomore center canned his first three-pointer of the season with 4:07 left.

Gensler hit two foul shots then added a layup with 2:00 left to push Campbell's lead to nine (86-77) with 2:00 remaining.  Campbell then hit 9-of-12 free throws over the final 1:10 to secure the win.

After committing 17 turnovers in the first half, the Camels made only seven (which resulted in five Citadel points) in the final stanza.  Campbell finished with a 38-31 edge on the glass and outscored The Citadel 10-2 in fast-break points.

The Citadel converted 17 Campbell first-half turnovers into a 21-4 edge in points off miscues.  Campbell shot 52 percent from the floor in the opening period, but trailed by eight (44-36) at the break as the Bulldogs had 13 steals. 

Frierson hit 4-of-5 triples in the opening period for The Citadel, which shot 41 percent from the field, 6-of-17 from 3-point range, and made 12-of-20 from the line. Clemons led the Camels with 11 first-half points on 4-of-7 shooting.

Campbell nearly went undefeated in the three-day event, but finished with the same 2-1 record as the hosts and USC Upstate.  The Camels fell in overtime Friday against Upstate 80-73, before notching a 73-71 OT win against Colgate Saturday.

In four seasons under the direction of head coach Kevin McGeehan, Campbell is now 6-2 against members of the Southern Conference, 2-1 this season.

After a nine-day break for final exams, the Camels return to action Dec. 14 when they host UNC Wilmington at 7:00 p.m.