Short-handed Camels hold off Stetson, 60-58

From Campbell University Athletics
Posted 11/30/21

Campbell men’s basketball held off Stetson on the road this past weekend to improve its win streak.

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Short-handed Camels hold off Stetson, 60-58

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DeLAND, Florida — Ricky Clemons and Cedric Henderson Jr. scored 14 points each and Campbell men’s basketball held off Stetson, 60-58, on the road Saturday.

The Camels (5-1) never trailed, led by 18 at the break, then ultimately produced a game-winning defensive stop in the final 12 seconds to stretch their win streak to three games.

Rob Perry led Stetson (2-3) with 19 points — 17 in the second half — but the Hatters were unable to get a shot off during their final possession.

“I’m super happy to come out of here with a win,” said Campbell head coach Kevin McGeehan. “Figuring out how to win without two important guys is a huge building block for our program and reaffirms that ‘next guy up’ mentality. It was gutty.”

With starters Jordan Whitfield and Joshua Lusane out due to injury, Messiah Thompson made his first start of the season and responded with 12 points — all in the opening period — as the Camels led 38-20 at the break.

Stetson made seven of its first eight 3’s to open the second period and cut Campbell’s advantage to just one, 44-43, on Christiaan Jones’ lay in with 9:11 to play. 

However, Henderson scored on a corner triple on the next possession. A senior, Henderson nailed a step-back 3 to put the Camels ahead, 56-48, with 3:58 left.

With just over two minutes remaining, Austin McCullough grabbed an offensive rebound and Henderson slammed home his final bucket of the day, off Thompson’s assist, to push the margin to 60-53 with 1:51 to play.

Perry scored on a running bank shot with 1:22 left and his second-chance 3 brought the Hatters within 60-58 with 22.5 seconds to play.

Campbell turned the ball over against full court pressure and the Hatters called their final timeout with 17 seconds left. With fouls to give, Thompson committed one with just over 11 seconds left. The Camel defense then hounded the Hatters, who were unable to get off a shot as time expired.

Clemons hit six of eight shots for the Camels, who outscored the Hatters 32-14 in the paint and out-rebounded the hosts 30-25.  McCullough finished with eight points and a team-high six rebounds, while Jesus Carralero dealt six assists and had three steals. Henderson finished six of 13 from the field and scored Campbell’s final seven points.

Campbell jumped to a 20-5 lead and stretched the margin to 38-20 at the break. Thompson scored 12 first-half points, including a pair of 3’s.

Saturday’s game was the 38th in the series between the old Atlantic Sun Conference rivals. The Camels have now won the last eight meetings, including all three since Campbell re-joined the Big South Conference in 2011-12.

All of CU’s three wins away from home this season have come via final-possession stand. Only nationally-ranked Duke, which topped the Camels two weeks ago, has defeated the preseason Big South Conference North Division favorites on the road.

Campbell returns home Tuesday to host Lancaster Bible College at 7 p.m.

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