Only one team would come away a winner on Thursday afternoon, but one thing is for certain when it comes to both the Campbell Camels and the Stetson Hatters.
The future is very, very bright in both Buies Creek, NC and Deland, FL. Both programs are trending upwards, and they both have the talent to contend in their respective conferences as early as this season.
Thursday marked the end of non-conference play for Campbell, who welcomed the Hatters to Buies Creek for an afternoon matinee before the Christmas break for both programs.
After Stetson took an early lead to open the contest, it was all about Campbell. That was, until the closing minutes, as the Hatters erased their 14-point halftime deficit.
On their floor, the Camels wouldn’t be denied. Timely free throw shooting from Chris Clemons, coupled with three straight misses from the Hatters, allowed for the home side to withstand the push and seal the deal.
It took some extra work down the stretch, but Campbell held on for the 81-72 win over Stetson on Thursday afternoon.
Late in the second half, the Hatters were down by 10. With their backs against the wall, they stepped up their game on both ends of the floor, and seemingly had all the momentum in their corner.
The Hatters held the Camels without a field goal for over five minutes, and used a 12-1 run to take their first lead of the game since the opening basket of the contest. Angel Rivera capped off the run with a layup to give Stetson a 72-71 lead with 2:23 to play in the game.
Those were the last points that the visitors would score on Thursday.
Kyre’ Hamer responded with a layup and two free throws to give Campbell the lead once again, this time for good. Stetson missed their final three shots of the game, and the Camels got timely free throw shooting to seal the deal.
Clemons went 6-of-6 from the free throw line over the final minute, and Campbell held off Stetson for the 81-72 win in front of their home crowd.
Chris Clemons led the way for the home side, scoring a game-high 22 points to go along with 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks.
Marcus Burk scored a career-high 15 points, while connecting on a career-high five three-pointers. Kyre’ Hamer added 12 points and 8 rebounds in the win.
Derick Newton scored a team-high 16 points to go along with 11 rebounds for the Hatters, recording his second double-double over the last three games.
Both Angel Rivera (14 points) and Divine Myles (13 points) also scored in double-figures in a losing effort.
The loss was the second straight for the Stetson Hatters (6-8, 0-0) after a two-game winning streak. Stetson will look to get back on track following the Christmas break when they take on the Alabama Crimson Tide on December 29th.
With the win, the Campbell Camels (7-5, 0-0) have now won four of their five games to close out the non-conference portion of their schedule. Big South play opens up on December 29th for the Camels, when they head on the road to take on the Longwood Lancers.
– T. Bennett