JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Austin McCullough scored a career-high 26 points and Campbell rolled to a 122-92 victory over NAIA member Florida National on Thursday to claim the Dolphin Classic at Swisher Gym.
After earning wins over host Jacksonville on Tuesday and New Orleans on Wednesday, the Camels produced their highest offensive output in nearly 27 years and improved to 4-0 to start the season for the first time since 2011-12.
The Camels shot 67 percent overall (47-70), made 16-of-29 threes (.552) and led by as many as 33 over the Conquistadors (2-11), who led the NAIA in scoring last season.
A senior from Birmingham, Ala., who started his career at Cal, McCullough canned 7-of-11 threes and also grabbed a career-best six rebounds, while drawing two charges and making two steals in 29 minutes. One day after scoring a career-high 26 in Wednesday’s 79-70 win over UNO, senior guard Jordan Whitfield added 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting to go along with a season-high five assists.
Cedric Henderson, Jr., who hit a career-best 26 in Tuesday’s 80-78 win over Jacksonville, finished with 19 points (9-of-11 from the floor) in just 19 minutes Thursday. Ricky Clemons, Messiah Thompson and Jesús Carralero added 10 points each. Carralero added a career-high 8 rebounds and matched his career best with 5 assists in 20 minutes.
Campbell used a 14-0 run midway through the opening half to build a 20-point edge and made 14 out of 15 shots during one stretch to take a 62-46 lead at the break. The outburst marked Campbell’s highest scoring period since the Camels tallied 62 in the second half of a 100-94 victory over UNC Wilmington Nov. 20, 2006 at old Carter Gym.
CU shot 74 percent (26-35) before the break and made 60 percent of its shots (21-25) after intermission. The Camels dealt 25 assists against only 12 turnovers and finished with a 27-15 edge in points off miscues while claiming a 39-25 advantage on the boards.
Campbell reached the century mark with 7:31 to play on Henderson’s dunk. A Laurynas Vaištaras free throw with 1:43 remaining provided the 115th point as CU eclipsed a 114-point outing vs. Ferrum on Jan. 3, 1994 at Carter Gym. Walk-on Andrew Carroll swished a corner three in the last minute and the Camels finished the 3-game event shooting 61 percent as a team.
Only a 133-84 win over Methodist on Dec. 2, 1987 at Carter Gym stands above Thursday’s offensive output in the Camel Division I era (since ’77-78) record books. The 122 points also rate as the most ever scored by a Camel team away from home in the D1 era and most since a 130-111 victory at Fayetteville State on Feb. 19, 1976, Campbell’s second-to-last year as an NAIA member.
Kenneth Santos and Jeffrey Hernandez scored 20 points each to lead FNU, which shot 52.9 percent on the day and made 12-of-29 threes. Jose Benitez added 17 points and Hirotaka Ohashi 10.
Campbell is scheduled to return to action Tuesday in a 7 p.m. start at Elon.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)