SAN FRANCISCO — Frankie Ferrari scored 18 points and San Francisco hung on for a 65-62 win over Campbell on Thursday night in a College Basketball Invitational semifinal at War Memorial Gym.
The Dons (21-15) advance to the best-of-three games CBI finals series against North Texas despite missing six of eight free throws in the last 3:25 and going the final 3:41 without a field goal.
Campbell pulled within 65-62 when Chris Clemons hit the first of two foul shots, then intentionally missed the second. Chase Foster rebounded and was fouled with 1.8 seconds to play, but missed both free throws. Neither team touched the ball after the second miss; the clock ran to 0.5 seconds before a whistle was blown. The officials then ruled that the clock should have started on the missed shot, and ended the game.
A first-team All-West Coast Conference point guard, Ferrari hit 4-of-8 threes and dealt out six assists, but twice missed front ends of one-and-one attempts in the last 2:46 to allow CU to close a nine-point deficit to as little as three down the stretch. Matt McCarthy added 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Chase Foster and Jordan Ratinho had 12 apiece for the Dons, who finished with a 41-32 edge on the boards.
Clemons led Campbell (18-16) with 18 points — seven below his season average — and moved into second place on the Big South Conference all-time scoring list. Marcus Burk added 14, while senior Mogga Lado had 10 off the bench in his final game in the Orange and Black.
Campbell entered the contest as the top shooting team in the Big South Conference (.481) and 28th in the country, but was hounded into 36.5 shooting by a USF roster than included five players standing 6-foot-9 or taller. CU made just 5-of-20 threes, but stayed within striking distance by committing only five turnovers.
USF shot 60 percent in the first half, but just 36 percent in the second and finished 24-of-50 (.480) from the field. The Dons made 9-of-24 from 3-point range (.375) and committed 16 turnovers, which Campbell turned into a 17-7 edge in points off miscues.
After a first period where neither team led by more than six, USF took a 39-37 lead into the break. The Dons shot 60 percent (15-25) from the floor, but were hampered by 11 turnovers, which CU converted into 12 points. Campbell, meanwhile, made only three first-half miscues and stayed close thanks to balanced scoring.
Burk and Clemons had nine first-half points each, while Damontez Oliver came off the bench to chip in six points and three assists. Ferrari led USF with 13 first-half points on 5-of-6 shooting, plus three assists, while Foster added 12 points and Ratinho, eight.
USF extended its lead to 51-44 when Nate Renfro hit the second of two foul shots with 14:35 to play, but Lado’s layup capped a 7-0 burst that tied the contest at 51 with 11:41 left. However, McCarthy had six points in a decisive 13-4 run that gave USF just enough of an advantage to hang on down the stretch.
The nation’s fourth-leading scorer (25.1), Clemons now has 2,232 points in 97 games — three more than John Brown had for High Point in his career that lasted from 2012 to 2016. Clemons extended the nation’s longest active double-figure scoring streak among Division I players to 82 games .
USF won its third straight at War Memorial Gym by five, or fewer points and has claimed eight of its last nine at home.
Despite missing three games this year due to injury, Clemons’ 772 points this year stands second on the school’s all-time single season list to the 904 he tallied a year ago.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)