Furman ends Campbell's run to CIT quarters 79-64

Chris Clemons
Chris Clemons (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Kris Acox and Devin Sibley combined for 44 points and Furman defeated Campbell 79-64 Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the CollegeInsider.com post-season tournament at Gore Arena.

The Paladins (23-11) built a double-digit lead by shooting 55 percent in the first half; then held off a second-period Campbell charge, to earn a berth in Wednesday's CIT semifinal.

Acox scored 24 points on 11-of-12 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Sibley – the Southern Conference player of the year – added 20, including 14 in the second half.  John Davis finished with 10 points and four assists for the Paladins, who shot 52 percent from the field and made 18-of-19 free throws.

Chris Clemons led Campbell (19-18) with 29 points and became just the second player in Big South Conference history to score 900 points in a season (904).  The nation's third-leading scorer finished the year with a school-record 25.1 scoring average as well as Campbell marks for field goals (301) and 3-pointers (118) in a year.

Only Reggie Williams of VMI (928 in 2006-07) has totaled more points in a year among Big South schools than the sophomore guard from Raleigh.

Cory Gensler added 15 points, 13 in the final period, for the Camels, who cut a 16-point deficit to just 58-53 on Clemons' drive to the basket with 7:34 to play.  However, Furman answered with a 15-0 burst with Sibley scoring eight in the rally and the Camels were unable to get closer.

"We played hard, didn't play our best, but I think Furman had a lot to do with that," said Campbell head coach Kevin McGeehan. "I'm so proud of the way our guys came together during this run, and can't wait to coach them again."

Campbell finished the year with the second-most wins in the program's Division I era (since 1977-78) and earned a pair of post-season victories, also the first for the Camels.  Furman, the Southern Conference regular season co-champion, tied a school mark for single-season victories Saturday.

Acox made his first eight shots and the Paladins built a 39-30 half-time edge.  Clemons had eight points and Gensler seven in Campbell 17-6 rally to trim the margin to five before the Paladins pulled away.

After making 13 three-pointers in each of their first two CIT wins, the Camels finished Saturday's game 6-of-24 (.250) beyond the arc against Furman, the country's 14th-best team defending the three (.307).  Campbell also hit season lows for foul shots made (4) and attempted (7).

Furman finished the day 27-of-52 (.519) from the floor, made 7-of-19 threes (.368) and 18-of-19 free throws (.947), committed just nine turnovers and held a 31-26 edge on the boards.  Campbell was 27-of-58 (.466) from the field, and made 11 turnovers.

Andrew Eudy finished the year with 70 blocked shots, tops in the Big South Conference and second-most in Campbell history.

Campbell also set a school record for team free throw percentage (.751), erasing the old mark (.722) set in 2006-07.