Campbell’s historic shooting night leads Camels past Liberty
Campbell had a historic night from three-point range making 23 three-pointers that Liberty could not overcome in a 94-85 loss at the Vines Center. The Flames fall to 12-10 overall and 3-6 in the Big South while Campbell improves to 12-9 and 6-3 in conference.
Of the Camel’s 94 points, 69 came from beyond the arc shooting 69.7 percent from three led by Chris Clemons with 42 points, making 10-14 from three-point range. Also scoring 30-plus points was Campbell’s Marcus Burk with 32 points. Seventy-four points by Burk and Clemons is the most by two players in Campbell’s history. Twenty-three makes from three is the most by a Big South team in a conference game.
“We hang our hat on our defense but call it like it is, that was a shooting clinic,” head coach Ritchie McKay said. “Campbell was shooting from way beyond the arc and they were making them. They got confidence and they kept rolling.”
Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz led Liberty with 24 points in addition to four assists and three rebounds. Liberty scored the most points in a game since Dec. 22 when the Flames scored 87 against Alabama State. Liberty ended the game shooting 50 percent from the field and 37 from beyond the arc. Ryan Kemrite moves closer to history as he is now has 219 career three-pointers, which puts him eight makes away from Larry Blair’s school record of 227 career three-pointers.
Freshman Keegan McDowell had a career night on offense scoring 13 points with a trio of makes from beyond the arc. While Campbell was shooting lights out from three, the Flames were able to control the paint, outscoring the Camels 32-6.
For the second straight game, the Flames got off to a slow start as the Camels jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first three and a half minutes of the ball game. During its run to start the game, Campbell shot a perfect 4-4 from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line while Liberty was 0-5 from the floor. The Flames were able to get its offense going by attacking the rim and getting fouled scoring its first five points from the free throw line. Midway through the first half the Flames went on an 8-0 run to come within six points (17-11) of Campbell’s lead.
Liberty got back into the ball game going on a 14-3 run over the course of four minutes to come within six points (42-36) of the Camel’s lead. McDowell provided a spark off the bench scoring eight points, including a pair of three-pointers from deep. The Flames would end the first half shooting 12-17 from the field, outscoring Campbell 20-8 in the final seven minutes of the half as the Camels would go into halftime with a 47-42 lead. Of the 15 field goals the Camels made in the first half, 13 were from three-point range as Clemons and Burk led the game with 17 points each. The Flames’ bench outscored Campbell’s 12-3 led by McDowell with 10 points. Leading all Liberty scorers in the first half was Pacheco-Ortiz with 12 points to go along with a pair of assists.
The Flames continued to attack on offense coming out of halftime tying the game at the 18-minute mark at 47-all. The Camels quickly regained the lead and outscore the Flames 33-24 throughout the next 14 minutes of play. The Camels continued to stay hot from three-point range, shooting 76.9 percent in the second half from beyond the arc.
“There are not a lot of teams in the country that can shoot that high of a percentage against any defense,” McKay added. “We don’t play defense but two guys got in a rhythm especially (Clemons and Burk) and they are a tough out when they shoot like that.”
For the second half, Clemons scored 25 points off 6-8 from the field and 5-6 from three-point range. The Flames’ duo of Scottie James and Pacheco-Ortiz scored double-figures in the second with 12 points each while James grabbed four rebounds while Pacheco-Ortiz grabbed two boards along with two assists.
The Flames will close out the week on the road for a matchup against Presbyterian. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. at the Templeton Center.