CU men's basketball earns trip to Big South title game

From Campbell University Athletics
Posted 3/5/21

No. 3 Campbell played at No. 2 Radford Thursday, seeking its first Big South Championship title game appearance since 2017.

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CU men's basketball earns trip to Big South title game

Posted

RADFORD, Va. — Ricky Clemons scored a career-high 19 points to lead Campbell to a 78-60 win over Radford Thursday in the Big South Championship semifinal at the Dedmon Center.

Third-seeded Campbell (17-9) will travel to top seed Winthrop (22-1) Sunday with a ticket to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

Joshua Lusane added 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Jordan Whitfield (11 points) and Cedric Henderson, Jr. (10 points) also reached double figures for the Camels, who extended their modern era win streak to nine games.

Fah’Mir Ali led second-seeded Radford (15-12) with 19 points, but only three in the second half, while Bryan Hart came off the bench to add 16 for the Highlanders.

“I’m super happy for my team,” said Campbell head coach Kevin McGeehan. 

“It’s been a real effort by everybody.  My staff has been incredible, and the guys have completely bought into what we’re doing. Every single person on that bench is locked in ready to do whatever he can to help us win.  As a coach, you can’t ask for more than that.”

Campbell led by 12 at the break and extended the margin to 48-29 on Clemons’ drive to the bucket with 14:48 remaining.

After Radford scored eight unanswered points to cut the game to 48-37 on Hart’s three-point play with 13:29 to play. The Camels responded with a 9-0 run and led by as many as 24 down the stretch.

After holding Radford to 40% shooting Thursday, the Camels, who won the Big South regular season title in 2019, will make their first trip to the league tournament final since 2017.

“Our guys are totally focused,” said McGeehan, of his squad that was picked 10th in the preseason coaches and media poll, but finished third in the standings with an 11-6 league mark.  “We didn’t play a perfect game tonight, but we were tough. Good things happen when everybody’s locked in.”

Campbell hasn’t lost since consecutive setbacks to the Highlanders Jan. 19-20 at Buies Creek.

“We had a little fire in our belly from when we played them earlier in two tough games,” said McGeehan.  “This is a team that annihilated us on the boards – plus 40-some over two games – and we won it tonight.”

On Thursday at Radford, Campbell finished with a 28-23 edge on the glass. 

“We’re so excited about getting this opportunity to play for another championship,” said McGeehan.

“We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing, play as hard as we possibly can, believe in each other and let the chips fall where they may.”

Sunday's final is set for noon and is scheduled to be televised on ESPN.

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