Clemons warms up vs. Flames as Camels win, 79-69

by | Feb 18, 2018 | Campbell, News & Features

Chris Clemons (3) started slow but finished with 26 points in Campbell’s 79-69 Big South Conference win over visiting Liberty on Sunday.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/Paul Burgett)

BUIES CREEK — Chris Clemons scored 24 of his game-high 26 points in the second half and Campbell defeated Liberty 79-69 Sunday in men’s basketball at Gore Arena.

Marcus Burk added 19 points, while Damontez Oliver came off the bench to chip in a career-high 12 for the Camels (15-13, 9-7 Big South), who knocked down 15-of-27 threes, won their third in the last four contests and swept the regular season series from the Flames.

Campbell shot 63 percent in the second half, 53 percent overall, and committed a season-low five turnovers. The Camels took advantage of 11 Liberty miscues to grab a 20-2 edge in points off turnovers.

Ryan Kemrite led four Flames in double figures with 14 points. Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz added 12, while Scottie James and Caleb Homesley had 11 apiece for Liberty (17-12, 8-8), which lost for just the second time in its last seven outings.

The nation’s fourth-leading scorer (24.6 points per game), Clemons had only two points when he collected his second foul with 9:28 left in the opening period and the Camels trailing by two (16-14).

The Camels grabbed the lead thanks to a 14-2 run capped by Jordan Whitfield’s 3-point play with 6:10 remaining in the period that left CU ahead 24-18.

Burk scored 11 first-half points, while Oliver had nine on a trio of threes, and Campbell led 32-27 at the break.

Clemons’ three from the right side gave Campbell its largest lead (61-46) with 8:19 to play. Liberty hit 11 straight shots, but could get no closer than 73-69 after consecutive treys by Kemrite with 2:38 to play.

Clemons answered on the next possession with a 3-point play. Liberty missed its last three shots and had a turnover in the final 1:50.

Campbell shot a blistering 62.5 percent from the floor (15-24) in the second half, 9-of-12 (75 percent) from 3-point range. Liberty lost despite making 64 percent of its attempts (16-25) after intermission, including 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) beyond the arc.

Campbell finished 26-of-49 (53.1 percent) from the field and improved to 10-1 this season when shooting 50 percent or better.

Clemons missed his first four shots on the day and didn’t score from the field until the 15-minute mark of the second period when his drive to the basket started a 9-0 burst. He made eight of his last 11 shots, including four of his final five 3-point attempts to extend his NCAA Division I-leading streak to 76 consecutive double-figure scoring games.

Clemons moved into seventh place on the Big South’s all-time scoring list. The junior from Raleigh has 2,077 points in 91 career games, one more than Winthrop’s Keon Johnson logged in his career from 2013-17.

Burk finished six of eight from the floor and four of five beyond the arc, while Oliver canned four of six triples.

Including a 23-of-33 (69.7 percent) showing in a 94-85 win Jan. 23 at Lynchburg, Va., Campbell has made 63 percent (38-60) of its attempts from 3-point distance in two games against Liberty this season.

Campbell makes its final road trip of the regular season to play Charleston Southern on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. before hosting Presbyterian on Saturday in a 4:30 p.m. start.

(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)

Marcus Burk drives and scores for the Camels on Sunday.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/Paul Burgett)

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