BUIES CREEK — Trailing by one point with 2:07 to play, Campbell mounted a late rally to top Gardner-Webb 48-44 and improve to 4-1 in Big South Conference play.
Ashlyn Hampton, who finished with eight points on the night, knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:02 to play to give Campbell just its second lead, 45-44 since the 1:43 mark in the third period.
Campbell then closed out the final minute posting three straight defensive stops that were capped off by Hayley Barber rebounds forcing intentional fouls each time she hauled in a board.
Making just one-of-two shots from the stripe all three trips, the Runnin’ Bulldogs (7-7, 2-3 Big South) had a chance to tie it up with a three pointer with 28 ticks on the clock but desperation shots from Savannah and Carley Plentovich came up short as Campbell held on to secure the win in a game that featured 16 lead changes and seven ties.
Heading into the final period Campbell held the lead for 15:58 compared to Gardner-Webb’s lacking 7:35 but GWU was able to hold the lead for the majority of the third quarter until Hayley Barber knocked down a runner in the lane to give the Camels their first lead since the 1:43 mark in the third period.
The win helped Campbell (9-5, 4-1 Big South) improve to a perfect 7-0 at home this season and pushed its home win streak to eight games dating back to March 6 of last season. The Camels now sit just one home win away from tying its best start since the 2011-12 season when the Camels opened the year with an 8-0 record at home to start the season.
Campbell held Gardner-Webb to its lowest shooting percentage of the year (.286) to mark the fourth time this season the Camels have held an opponent to under 30 percent from the field.
The Camels counteracted with a 34 percent effort from the floor led by its lone double-digit scorer Kianna Speight who scored 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting to mark the fourth time this season she has led the Camels in scoring.
Over its first 14 games, Campbell has not had a player lead the squad in scoring for two consecutive games and has had five different players lead the team in scoring over the course of the year.
The balanced scoring held true again as Barber followed with nine points and Ashlyn Hampton with eight.
Alexis Hueston paced the way for the Runnin’ Bulldogs with 15 points followed by Lauren Bevis with eight.
The Camels were able to hold the Plentovich twins, who are averaging a combined 28.2 points per game, to a combined 13 points as Savannah scored seven and Carley six.
Campbell hits the road once against on Saturday to take on Hampton as a part of a double-header for the Pirates with the women’s game set to tip off at 4 p.m.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)