Camels close out 2016 with 73-32 victory over Columbia College

(ScarboroughPhotography.com)
(ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- The Campbell women's basketball team closed out the non-conference portion of its 2016-17 schedule with a 73-32 victory over Columbia College on Thursday night at Gore Arena. Every active Camel scored in the contest led by a game-high 11 points from MaKala Rouse.

Campbell finishes non-conference play at 8-3, which will at least tie for the best record among Big South Conference teams. The Camels held the Koalas to a program-low two points in the second period that led to a 28-point halftime advantage. Columbia (2-9) was the fifth opponent that CU held under 40 points this season as the Camels entered the contest with the best scoring defense in NCAA DI at 47.1 points per game.

Taya Bolden and Bria Emanuel each tallied a game-high 10 rebounds and seven points off the bench. Hayley Barber finished with career-highs in points (eight), assists (five) and steals (three) in a game-high 25 minutes of action. Summer Price and Caroline Bowns scored eight and seven points respectively while Alyshia Allison chipped-in seven points off the bench as well.

Campbell recorded a season-high 14 steals and forced 28 turnovers, which led to 40 points. CU connected on 27-of-59 field goal attempts for a .458 shooting clip and out-rebounded Columbia 45-27, the seventh game and win this season with a rebounding advantage.

After an early 4-0 Camel lead, the Koalas took their only lead of the contest at 7-6 after a Victoria Williams three pointer. Rouse quickly re-gained the advantage for Campbell after a layup on the other end and the Camels led for the rest of the game.

It was a 10-9 advantage when CU reeled off nine-straight points to take the first double-digit advantage of the game at 19-9 with 2:12 left in the first. Erica LeBlanc broke up the run with a free throw a few seconds later, but an Allison three made it a 22-10 scored in favor of the Camels after the first period.

Campbell scored the first 13 points of the second period to make it a 16-0 run and a 35-10 lead with 3:15 on the clock. A layup from Brianna Johnson broke the Koalas' 13-miunte drought without a field goal to finally end the long Camel run with 2:58 to play before halftime. A Kelly Post three pointer capped a 5-0 spurt to end the half and sent the Camels to the break with a 40-12 advantage.

CU opened the third with the first eight points of the second half and led 48-12 with 6:22 showing on the clock. Morgan Varn scored six-straight points for the Koalas in the third but they still faced a 57-20 deficit with 1:48 left in frame. Taya Bolden recorded the Camels' last three points in the third but an Amber Sherrill three made the score 60-23 heading to the fourth.

Bowns opened the fourth period scoring with a three just a few seconds into the frame. The Campbell lead remained over 40 until an Alison Sobataka three made the score 69-30 with 3:05 left to play. It was still a 39-point Camel advantage before Allison capped the game's scoring with a bucket in the final seconds that pushed her to a career-high scoring tally.

Varn led Columbia with eight points while Sherrill added seven. Katie Kopp pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and dished-out a team-high three assists. The Camels held the Koalas to just .295 shooting as a team (13-for-44).

Campbell will return to the court in the New Year when it opens its 18-game Big South schedule on Tuesday, January 3 on the road against preseason favorites UNC Asheville.