HIGH POINT — Caroline Bowns poured in 25 points, leading Campbell to a berth in the Big South Women’s Basketball Championship game with a 55-44 win over Charleston Southern on Friday night at the Millis Center.
Campbell moves to 21-11 on the season, advancing to face No. 1 seed Radford in the Big South championship game Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Dedmon Center in Radford, Va. The Highlanders topped UNC Asheville 59-52 on Friday in the tournament semifinals.
The CSU Buccaneers finished their season at 14-18 overall.
The Camels are making their first conference title game appearance since 2001, the second of back-to-back Atlantic Sun (then called the Trans-American Athletic Conference) title game appearances, when CU fell to Georgia State 64-62.
In Campbell’s Division I history, the Camels own conference tournament titles in 1989 (Big South) and 2000 (A-Sun). CU was a member of the Big South from 1986-94, rejoining in 2011, competing as a member of the A-Sun from 1994-2011.
A night after scoring 20 points in a win over third-seeded Hampton, Bowns hit 7-of-7 shots, including 6-of-8 from distance, adding a 5-for-5 effort from the free throw line. The senior added eight rebounds, two blocks, a steal and an assist.
Bowns became Campbell’s all-time 3-point field goal leader with 172, moving past Summer Price (2014-18).
Campbell led 36-34 entering the fourth quarter, Bowns scored eight, including her sixth three, in the first 5:04 of the period before back-to-back CSU threes cut the Campbell lead to just three, at 45-42 with 2:47 to play.
Bowns’ last triple came with 4:56 on the clock, Campbell’s last made field goal of the night, but the Camels hit five free throws down the stretch to hold off the Bucs, who were held without points over the game’s final 2:47.
Hayley Barber added 10 points and seven assists for the Camels, while Shy Tuelle posted eight points with a season-high 12 rebounds, tacking on two steals and two assists. Kyra Davis also chipped in seven points and Taya Bolden grabbed eight rebounds.
Shelby Wilbanks led Charleston Southern with 10 points and nine rebounds, while Breannah Bretches notched 10 points with five boards.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)