Camels win fifth-straight, defeats Gardner-Webb 73-61

Summer Price (Will Bratton photo)
Summer Price (Will Bratton photo)

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BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- MaKala Rouse scored 20 points to lead the Campbell women's basketball team to its fifth-straight win Saturday afternoon, a 73-61 triumph at Gardner-Webb. Rouse led four Camels in double-figures while Summer Price added 14 points to help CU remain in a tie at the top of the Big South Conference.

Rouse tallied 14 points in the fourth-period and all 20 points came in the second half. 10 of Price's points were in the third period, a frame in which the Camels (15-4, 7-1) outscored the Runnin' Bulldogs (8-11, 3-5) 21-14 and turned a narrow 28-24 halftime lead to 49-38 heading to the fourth. Caroline Bowns and Hannah Long added 10 points apiece.

A Bowns three pointer pushed the Camel advantage to 33-26 two minutes into the third period. That tray was part of a 7-0 run that increased Campbell's lead to nine. Back-to-back triples for GWU cut the score to 37-34 before Price answered with a tray to put CU up 40-34 with 3:43 left in the third.

Price converted a contested layup before draining another three to give CU its first double-digit lead at 45-34 with two minutes remaining in the third. The advantage had shrunk back to nine before Rouse went coast-to-coast and hit a floater at the buzzer to send the Camels to the fourth with an 11-point advantage.

Following a layup by GWU's Tierra Huntsman to open the final stanza, the Camels reeled off 11-straight points to take a 61-41 lead and put the game out of reach with 5:07 left to play. The Runnin' Bulldogs were able to use a 14-4 run to cut the deficit to 67-55 with 48 seconds to play. However, Rouse hit six-of-six free throw attempts in the Camels' final three possessions of the game to seal the win.

Campbell shot a season-high .556 from the field (25-for-45) and went 19-for-25 (.760) from the free throw stripe. The Camels assisted on 16 of the 25 made baskets. CU out-rebounded GWU 31-24 and forced 14 turnovers.

The Runnin' Bulldogs were led by Alexus Hill, who had 19 points and Huntsman added 13. Rouse fell just short of a double-double with a career-high nine assists while Brianna Cribb and Long led the Camels on the boards with six rebounds apiece. Taya Bolden chipped-in seven points and five rebounds.

Gardner-Webb opened the contest with the first five points and hit four of its first seven field goal attempts to take an 11-7 lead midway through the first period. A pair of Hayley Barber free throws broke a long scoreless drought for both sides, but it was promptly answered with a pair of Runnin' Bulldog baskets to increase that set the score at 15-9 with a minute to play in the frame. A Price layup and a big defensive stop late in the first cut the GWU lead to 15-11 at the first intermission.

GWU couldn't increase its advantage by more than five in the early portion of the second period thanks in part to a pair of layups from Long. A Barber three knotted the game at 20-20 with 5:07 on the clock and the Camels took their first lead of the contest at 26-24 on Long's fifth layup of the period with 2:47 to play before halftime. The Camels held the Runnin' Bulldogs scoreless for the final 4:38 of the first half and scored six during the drought to take a 28-24 lead at the break.

The Camels will play the next two games at home inside Gore Arena starting on Tuesday night against Liberty. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.