BUIES CREEK — Ja’Cor Nelson and Cory Gensler converted both ends of 1-and-1 free throw opportunities in the final 23 seconds and Campbell held off a late comeback attempt by Jacksonville for a 62-57 win in men’s college basketball on Monday night at Gore Arena.
Jacksonville (3-5) twice cut the Campbell lead to three points in the final minute, but Nelson sank a pair with 23 seconds to play and Gensler provided the final margin with 10.7 seconds left.
The Camels (4-1) led by as many as 16 and by 11 when Nelson scored on a driving layup with 3:32 to play. However, the Dolphins knocked down six straight shots and cut the gap to 58-55 when Kevin Norman sank a deep three with 41 seconds to play.
The Camels held on through pressure as JU had to foul twice to put the Camels into the bonus to set up the decisive free throws.
Redshirt freshman LaDarius Knight came off the bench to score 11 points, eight in the first half, and Nelson hit double figures for the fourth-straight game with 10 for the Camels, who finished with a 21-8 edge in points off turnovers. Gensler (3 assists, 4 steals, 0 turnovers in 33 minutes) and Cedric Henderson, Jr. added eight points each for the Camels, who forced 20 turnovers.
Six-foot-10 David Bell, an Ohio State transfer, led JU with 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting, plus 11 rebounds. Destin Barnes had nine points, while Norman scored all eight of his in the final period.
The Camels closed the opening half on an 8-0 run capped by Jesús Carralero’s dunk in transition and led 34-18 at the break.
Campbell shot 46 percent from the floor, but made just 5-of-20 from 3-point distance after entering the contest ninth nationally in threes made per game (11.0). CU knocked down 7-of-9 from the line and outscored the taller Dolphins 10-2 on the break.
Jacksonville shot 47 percent from the floor, made 5-of-15 threes (4-of-8 in the second period), but only 6-of-13 from the stripe (.462) while finishing with a 34-25 edge on the boards.
Off to the team’s best start in eight years, the Camels now head to Fort Myers, Fla., over the weekend to compete in the Florida Gulf Coast Classic against Georgia Southern on Friday at 5 p.m., Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and North Dakota on Sunday at noon.
Campbell women defeat Kennesaw State
Hayley Barber and Luana Serranho combined for 38 of Campbell’s points as the Lady Camels topped Kennesaw State 63-51 on Monday night in Gore Arena.
Barber led all scorers with 20 points including 17 in the second half while Serranho added a career-high 18 points, 15 in the second half, to lead the Camels (3-2) who outscored the Owls 43-25 in the second half.
Amani Johnson scored 16 and Carlotta Gianolla added 14 for the Owls who came into the game riding a four-game win streak.
Kennesaw State posted a 21-11 lead, its largest of the contest, with 7:02 remaining in the first half however Campbell cut the deficit to six at the break.
Campbell then held the Owls (4-2) to 15 third-quarter points on 5-of-15 shooting (.333) before the 10 points 3-of-11 (.273) performance in the closing period.
Barber closed out the night 7-of-11 from the field to pair with a 1-of-2 effort from long range.
Serranho followed on 6-of-10 shooting and a 3-of-4 effort from deep on her career-best night.
Campbell shot just 25-for-56 (.393) in the opening half but rebounded with a 16-of-31 (.516) effort.
CU, who out-rebounded the Owls 40-35, was able to edge KSU 28-18 in paint production as well as efforts off the bench 18-5.
Campbell pushed its lead to nine points four different times in the closing period before pushing to its final 12 point lead of the game with 26 ticks remaining on the clock.
The Campbell women host UNC Greensboro next Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)