BUIES CREEK — Jordan Whitfield scored 18 points, while Joshua Lusane added 11 plus nine rebounds to lead Campbell over Gardner-Webb, 63-57. in the Big South Conference men’s basketball quarterfinals on Monday night at Gore Arena.
The third-seeded Camels (16-9) extended their school-Division I era win streak to eight games and will travel to second-seeded Radford (15-11) for Thursday’s 7 p.m. semifinal. The Highlanders eliminated seventh seed Hampton, 67-52, on Monday night.
Fifth-seeded Longwood (12-15) will head to top seed Winthrop (21-1) in Thursday’s 6 p.m. semifinal. Winthrop defeated High Point, 83-54, while Longwood won, 77-61, at UNC Asheville.
In a game where the final margin was the largest lead for either team, Whitfield twice hit both ends of two one-and-one chances in the last 31.6 seconds and the Camels knocked down 11-of-13 from the line overall to advance to the league semifinals for the second time in three seasons.
Jordan Sears led Gardner-Webb with a career-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, and fellow freshman D’Maurian Williams added 13 – all in the second half – for the Runnin’ Bulldogs (11-15).
Monday’s battle included 10 lead changes and seven ties. Whitfield broke a tie at 53 with two foul shots with 2:18 to play; then Lusane blocked Williams in the paint on the following possession.
Messiah Thompson drove deep into the paint and dumped the ball off to Ricky Clemons for a layup with 1:42 remaining and a four-point advantage. Williams answered when he made a shot bank shot with 1:21 left to trim the gap to 57-55.
Clemons missed a corner three at the end of the shot clock, but sprinted down the court to steal the ball from Sears and the Camels called time with 39.8 seconds to play. After Whitfield hit both ends with 31.6 seconds left, Jaheam Cornwall missed a corner three, but Ludovic Dufeal followed to again cut the margin to two at 59-57.
Whitfield again connected from the line to stretch the margin to four (61-57) with 15 seconds left. Cornwall missed a leaning three, and the Camels gained possession when the ball went off a GWU player on the rebound. Cedric Henderson, Jr., knocked down two from the line with 1.2 seconds left for the final margin.
Campbell shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half, 44 percent (22-50) on the night. CU connected on 8-of-15 triples (.533) overall, 5-of-7 in the in the final period, and finished with a 33-29 edge on the boards.
Clemons added nine points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals with just one turnover in 38 minutes. Thompson and Milos Stajcic both chipped in eight points off the bench for the Camels, who won despite their leading scorer Henderson finishing 10 points below his season scoring average of 16.
Whitfield made 5-of-12 from the floor, all seven of his free throws, and dealt four assists.
Gardner-Webb led 28-26 at the half.
Sears had 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting for the Bulldogs, who hit 44 percent of their first-half attempts, 4-of-14 from 3-point range.
Campbell defeated Gardner-Webb for the first time in Big South tournament play after suffering four losses to the Bulldogs (2013, 2015, 2016, 2019).
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)