BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell jumped to a 22-4 lead and never trailed in a 98-79 win over Houston Baptist Tuesday night in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com tournament at Gore Arena.
Chris Clemons scored 39 points and Marcus Burk added a career-high 27 for the Camels, who led by 17 at halftime, then shot 61 percent in the second period. Shane Whitfield added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Campbell (18-17), which won its fifth in the last six outings and earned its first post-season victory as a Division I member.
Colter Lasher led Houston Baptist (17-14) with 20 points, while Reveal Chukwujekwu added 17, Braxton Bonds 12, plus 12 rebounds and 7 assists, and Josh Ibarra 11 for the Huskies, who shot just 38 percent for the game.
The Fighting Camels led by as many as 22 in the opening half and took a 47-30 edge into the dressing room. HBU drew within nine twice in the closing minutes – the last time on Ibarra's bucket in the paint, but Burk answered with his seventh triple of the night to start a 13-4 burst that sealed the victory.
Clemons and Burk combined for 66 points – the most by Campbell teammates in a game since the program moved to the Division I ranks in 1977-78. The previous mark of 60 was set in the 1989 Big South tournament by Mark Mocnik (30) and Henry Wilson (30). Clemons (51) and Kyre' Hamer (9) equaled that record 12 days ago in a quarterfinal round win in the league championship over defending champ UNC Asheville.
The Camels will wait for a second round pairing after the CIT first round concludes Thursday. Second round games are scheduled for Mar. 17-20.
A freshman from Indianapolis, Burk knocked down 10-of-17 shots, including 7-of-13 threes, to eclipse his previous career-high by 12 points.
The nation's third-leading scorer, Clemons hit 11-of-23 from the floor, 4-of-8 beyond the arc, and 13-of-16 from the line in his school-record ninth 30-plus point outing. He entered Tuesday's game averaging 35 points in four post-season contests and hit at least 30 for the third time in four games – the exception being a 29-point effort in the Big South title game on Mar. 5.
Andrew Eudy blocked a career-high 6 shots, and grabbed eight boards for the Camels. Whitfield matche his career best with 10 rebounds and dealt four assists.
On the night, Campbell shot 55 percent from the floor, made 13-of-26 threes and 21-of-26 from the line (.808) while finishing with a 14-0 margin in fast-break points. HBU entered the game as the nation's 11th-leading team on the offensive glass and finished with 20, but converted those into only a 16-12 edge in second-chance points.
Clemons extended his school single-season record points total to 849 and his season mark for 3-pointers made to 111. He is averaging 25 points overall, 35.8 in five post-season games… Eudy now has 64 blocks in 35 games, second only to Eric Griffin's 73 (in 2011-12) on CU's single-season rejections list… Eudy and Whitfield started their school-record 35th games of the year…