Camels upset by Bulldogs in Big South quarterfinal

Brianna Cribb (Courtesy of Todd Drexler)
Brianna Cribb (Courtesy of Todd Drexler)

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LYNCHBURG, Va. --- Second-seeded Campbell was handed an early exit from the Big South Championship Friday night when seventh-seeded UNC Asheville knocked off the Camels 64-55 in the tournament's quarterfinal round. Summer Price led CU with a game-high 19 points.

The Camels fall to 21-9 overall this season and will now wait to hear their postseason fate in the coming days. Campbell matched its highest regular-season win total in program history with an eight-win turnaround from last season. CU finished second in the Big South after being picked to finish eighth in the preseason coaches poll.

After trailing by as many as 12 late in the third period, a three from Price cut UNC Asheville's (17-14) lead to just 55-51 with 1:44 to play. The Bulldog advantage increased back to seven (60-53) after three made free throws in-between a missed layup by MaKala Rouse.

Down by five, the Camels had a chance to cut the deficit to a single possession after Catori Major missed two free throws with 24 seconds left to play. However, the Camels couldn't control the rebound and it went out of bounds to give possession back to the Bulldogs. Asheville hit four more free throws the rest of the way en route to the win.

Brianna Cribb tallied 12 points while Rouse finished with 11. Hannah Long finished with eight points and eight rebounds, while Price and Rouse each dished out a game-high four assists.

Overall, the Camels were held to just .345 shooting from the field (19-for-55) and were outrebounded 39-27. Campbell only committed five turnovers and forced 13 Asheville miscues.

Four Bulldogs finished in double figures led by Khaila Webb's 16 points. Major and Jessica Wall each scored 12 while Sonora Dengokl tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

A three pointer from Webb with three seconds on the clock put Asheville ahead 13-4 at the first intermission. Rouse broke up a 6-0 start for UNCA four and a half minutes into the contest, and scored the Camels' only other points in the period midway through the opening frame.

After the Bulldogs built up a 16-4 advantage, the Camels answered with back-to-back threes from Breanna Foster and Price. Major quickly countered with a triple, and her trey with 2:55 on the clock put the Bulldogs up 25-17. Long connected on a layup late in the first half, but a pair of free throws from KJ Weaver gave Asheville a 29-21 lead at the break.

Cribb opened the second half with an early triple, but the Bulldogs took their second double-digit lead of the game at 38-28 with 5:21 to play in the third. Asheville held a 42-30 advantage, the largest of the game, with 2:14 left in the period before a three from Price and a layup by Cribb cut the deficit to 42-35 heading to the fourth.