Camels top Runnin' Bulldogs 67-56 in home finale

Brianna Cribb (ScarboroughPhotography.com)
Brianna Cribb (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- Campbell picked up its 21st victory of the season Saturday afternoon with a 67-56 win over Gardner-Webb in the Camels' 2016-17 regular season home finale at Gore Arena. Summer Price led the way with 21 points, her fifth 20-point effort of the season.

Campbell (21-6, 13-3 BSC) will play its final two games of the regular season on the road starting Monday night at Radford in a battle for sole possession of first place in the Big South Conference. Each team has identical 13-3 league records after Saturday afternoon's action.

Caroline Bowns hit five threes for 15 points versus the Runnin' Bulldogs (11-16, 6-10) while Brianna Cribb pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to go with six points and six assists. Cribb and fellow senior Bria Emanuel were honored during pregame ceremonies before playing in their final game at Gore Arena.

Campbell shot a sizzling .545 from the field (24-for-44) and an even .500 from beyond the arc (8-for-16). Three Runnin' Bulldogs finished in double-figures led by Tierra Huntsman's 14 points. Alexus Hill and Charlisa Jenkins finished with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Neither side led by more than four in the first half and the game featured 10 lead changes and four ties. The Camel advantage was just 49-46 before a layup from Emanuel and a three from Bowns increased the margin to 54-46 with 6:42 left to play. Huntsman answered with a short jumper, but CU held a 59-50 lead with 3:53 on the clock after two made free throws from MaKala Rouse.

Following a missed jumper from Price, the Camels recorded three-straight offensive rebounds to run the clock down to 2:27. Ky'Asia Stanford cut into the lead with a jumper, but Bowns answered with a trey to give the Camels their first double-digit lead of the contest at 62-52 with 2:04 remaining.

Price iced the game away with her final three pointer at the 1:32 mark of the first half that put Campbell up 65-54. GWU could only get back within nine of the lead down the stretch before the Camels earned the 11-point victory.

CU held a narrow 29-26 advantage on the boards and limited GWU to .426 shooting (20-for-47) from the field. The Camels scored 18 points off 15 Runnin' Bulldog turnovers.

Neither side led by more than three in the opening period after an early triple from Huntsman. Kiera Currie cut the Camels' narrow lead to 21-20 midway through the second and Jenkins gave GWU a 24-22 advantage on a jumper with 2:24 to play before halftime. Back-to-back threes from Barber and Bowns put the Camels on back on top (28-24) and they took a 28-26 lead to the break.

The Camels wouldn't surrender the lead for the remainder of the contest, but two free throws from Huntsman tied the game at 39-39 with 2:22 left in the third period. Bowns quickly drained a three ball on the other end but a late layup from Cilia Tibbs cut the Camel advantage to 44-43 heading to the fourth.

Following Monday's contest at Radford, Campbell will wrap-up the regular season next Saturday at Liberty. The Camels will then head back to Lynchburg, Va., for the 2017 Big South Championship on March 10-13.