Camels win seventh-straight, defeat Charleston Southern 54-37

MaKala Rouse (Scarboroughphotography.com)
MaKala Rouse (Scarboroughphotography.com)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- The Campbell women's basketball team defeated Charleston Southern by a 54-37 margin in its Big South Conference home opener at Gore Arena Saturday afternoon. It was the Camels' (10-3, 2-0 BSC) seventh-straight victory.

Campbell's current win streak is the longest by the program since the 2000-01 campaign. Summer Price paced three Camels in double-figures with a game-high 15 points. Hannah Long and MaKala Rouse tallied 10 points apiece, while Rouse, Hayley Barber and Taya Bolden each pulled down a game-high seven rebounds.

An early 7-0 run for the Camels in the first period represented the final lead change of the game as CU led for a total of 35 minutes in the contest. Campbell held CSU (6-7, 0-2) scoreless for the first seven minutes of the third period and turned a 27-17 halftime lead to a 37-17 advantage with 4:22 left to play in the third. The Buccaneers were only able to get back within 13 of the lead for the remainder of the contest.

The Camels, who entered the game as the top scoring defense in NCAA Division I, held the Bucs to just a .280 clip from the field (14-for-50) and just .133 shooting (2-for-15) from three point range. CSU was the fifth opponent CU held under 40 points this season. Ke'Asia Jackson led the Bucs with 10 points.

Campbell took its first lead of the game at 5-2 on a Caroline Bowns three ball two minutes in to the contest. The lead changed hands four times before CSU took an 8-7 advantage on a Jackson jumper with 5:22 left to play in the first. Campbell then held the Bucs scoreless for the remainder of the frame and led 14-8 heading to the second.

CSU opened the second period scoring to break a six-minute scoring drought. The Camel lead stayed between six and eight points through the first five minutes of the frame. However, a pair of Brianna Cribb free throws gave CU its first double-digit advantage at 25-15 with 2:25 to play before halftime. A Cribb layup capped a 7-0 spurt before Breannah Bretches scored for the Bucs to bring them back within 10 at the half.

After the Camels' long run to open the third period, CSU scored six straight to cut the deficit to 37-23 with 3:02 on the clock. Campbell's advantage was still 14 late in the frame before Price hit two free throws to make the score 43-27 heading to the fourth period.

CU put the game out of reach with a 7-0 run late in the fourth period that turned a 45-32 lead to 53-32 with 3:58 to play. The Bucs could only get back within 17 of the lead on two occasions in the final minutes of the contest before the Camels claimed the win.

Campbell put together its best performance of the season at the free throw line with a .846 shooting percentage (11-for-13). The Camels outscored the Bucs 30-18 in the paint and scored 11 points off 16 forced turnovers. Price and Barer each dished out a game-high three assists while Price added three steals.

The Camels will return to action in their second-straight home game Tuesday night against co-Big South leaders Radford for a 7 p.m. tip inside Gore Arena.