Camels top Radford 61-58; host Presbyterian Tuesday in Big South First Round

2017 Campbell seniors: Manager Devin Powers, Josh Crumpler, Jacob Talbert, Quinton Ray, Kyre' Hamer
(ScarboroughPhotography.com)
2017 Campbell seniors: Manager Devin Powers, Josh Crumpler, Jacob Talbert, Quinton Ray, Kyre' Hamer (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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Box Score (PDF)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Chris Clemons scored 16 points to lead three Camels in double figures and Campbell held off Radford 61-58 Saturday at Gore Arena.

Coming off the bench in order for three seniors to start in their regular season home finale, the nation's fifth-leading scorer (23.4) struggled through an off shooting night (6-of-22), but grabbed a career-high nine rebounds and made four steals, including one in the final minute to help the Camels (14-16, 7-11 Big South) secure a regular-season sweep of the Highlanders.

Senior guard Kyre' Hamer scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and freshman Cory Gensler added 12 on 4-of-5 from 3-point range to go along with four steals. Shane Whitfield chipped in nine points, including 7-of-8 from the line for the Camels, who committed only seven turnovers and made five more free throws (13-17) than the Highlanders attempted (7-8).

Justin Cousin led Radford (13-17, 8-10) with 15 points – 13 in the second half – and Ed Polite, Jr., added 11, plus a career-high 19 rebounds for his league-leading 14th double-double of the year. Donald Hicks added 10 for Radford, which shot 38.6 percent from the floor.

Hanging on to a 57-56 lead with just over a minute to play, Clemons scored on a backdoor layup off Andrew Eudy's pass to give the Camels a 3-point edge.  Clemons then stole the ball from Hicks on the next possession. The Camels were able to run the shot clock down; then grabbed an offensive rebound before Radford fouled Hamer with 19.4 seconds to play.

Hamer missed the front end of the one-and-one and Radford's Ed Polite, Jr., scored on a layup with six seconds remaining.  Clemons received the inbound pass, was fouled, and knocked down both ends of a one-and-one with 5.3 seconds to play for the final margin.

Clemons then contested Christian Bradford's desperation three at the horn and Campbell secured the seventh seed and will host 10th-seeded Presbyterian (5-24, 1-17) Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. in the first round of the Big South Conference Championship tournament.

The winner will advance to next Thursday's (Mar. 2) 1:00 p.m. quarterfinal against second seed UNC Asheville (23-8, 15-3) in Rock Hill, S.C.

Campbell led 31-26 at half-time, but Radford stayed close thanks to a 13-2 edge in second-chance points.  The Camels limited Radford to only two points off four offensive boards in the final period.

Midway through the final half, Campbell endured a 0-of-9 shooting drought and Radford grabbed a 46-44 lead on Caleb Tanner's three with 11:38 to play.  Hamer's drive to the basket with 9:20 to play tied the score and the senior was injured when he hit the floor on a foul by Cousin.  With Hamer headed to the bench, Eudy completed the 3-point play to give Campbell the lead it did not relinquish.

Campbell never led by more than five the rest of the way, and Radford trimmed the margin to one on two occasions, but 10-of-12 shooting from the line in the final period helped seal the win. 

Four-year walk-on Jacob Talbert earned a start in his final regular season game and was joined in the starting five by fellow senior Quinton Ray, who moved into a tie for eighth place on Campbell's career games played list with his 115th appearance.

Big South Conference Championship
First Round – Tuesday, Feb. 28 – Big South Network/Roku
Game 1: #10 Presbyterian (5-24, 1-17) at #7 Campbell (14-16, 7-11), 7:00pm
Game 2: #9 Longwood (6-23, 3-15) at #8 Charleston Southern (11-18, 7-11), 7:00pm

Quarterfinals – Thursday, March 2 – ESPN3
Game 3: #2 UNC Asheville (23-8, 15-3) vs. #7/10 winner, 1:00pm
Game 4: #3 Liberty (19-12, 14-4) vs. #6 Radford (13-17, 8-10), 3:00pm
Game 5: #1 Winthrop (23-6, 15-3) vs. #8/9 winner, 7:00pm
Game 6: #4 Gardner-Webb (18-13, 11-7) vs. #5 High Point (15-15, 9-9), 9:00pm

Semifinals - Friday, March 3 – ESPN3
Game 7:  Semifinals – Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6:00pm
Game 8:  Semifinals – Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 8:00pm

Championship - Sunday, March 5 – ESPN
Game 9:  Championship – Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 1:00pm