CONWAY, S.C. — Cory Gensler scored 16 points, while Jesús Carralero and Cedric Henderson, Jr. added 15 each to lead the Campbell men’s basketball team to a 75-74 win at Coastal Carolina on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Gensler added nine rebounds, six assists and didn’t commit a turnover in 32 minutes for the Camels, who held off a late Coastal rally.
The Camels (1-0) took their largest lead when Jordan Whitfield’s 3-point play gave CU a 73-67 edge with 4:44 remaining. However, the Chanticleers drew within one on Tyrell Gumbs-Frater’s drive with 2:47 to play. Ja’Cor Nelson then answered with his only field goal of the night through traffic and the Camels led 75-72 with 2:24 left.
Keishawn Brewton made two free throws with 33.8 seconds remaining to cut the lead to one (75-74), but the Camels ran the clock down in the final possession. Whitfield drove to the rim and missed, but Coastal only managed a desperation half court heave at the buzzer by Ebrima Dibba as time expired.
Brewton led Coastal Carolina with 24 points on 8-of-17 shooting, while Gumbs-Frater added 21, including 17 in the second half.
“I’m really proud of this group,” said Campbell coach Kevin McGeehan. “Every single guy that went into the game made a contribution. It was a really good, gritty win.”
Campbell shot just 38.7 percent overall from the field, but made 12-of-34 threes (.353) and all 15 from the line. Coastal finished at 48 percent field goal shooting, 8-of-22 (.364) beyond the arc, but just 8-of-16 from the stripe.
In a game that included 13 lead changes and nine ties, the Chanticleers finished with a 42-31 edge on the boards, but Campbell made only nine turnovers.
Gensler hit 6-of-12 overall from the field and 4-of-8 from three-point distance. In his first game in a Campbell uniform, Henderson, a sophomore transfer, made 4-of-6 from the field, 3-of-4 threes and all four of his foul shots. A freshman forward, Carralero came off the bench to hit 5-of-7 shots, including a pair of threes, and all three from the line in 20 minutes.
Coastal led by as many as nine (24-15) with 5:05 to play in the first half. However, Campbell closed the period on a 21-9 run and took a 36-33 lead at the break. Messiah Thompson gave the Camels their first lead (31-28) on a corner three. CU made six of its last eight shots and took a 3-point lead into the dressing room when Henderson scored in transition just before the horn.
Campbell opens its home slate Friday with a 7:30 p.m. start against Central Penn.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)