BUIES CREEK, N.C. (Feb. 19, 2010) - Holding ETSU to its lowest first half point total of the season and leading by 16 at the break, the Campbell Camels poured it on in the second half, leading by as many as 33 points and ultimately taking a 79-57 win over the ETSU men's basketball team in Atlantic Sun Conference action Friday night at Gore Arena.
In front of a regional television audience on CSS and before 3,023 fans - the second largest crowd in Campbell basketball history - the Camels forced 22 turnovers and outscored the Bucs 29-12 off those miscues. With the loss, the Bucs drop to 14-14 overall, 10-7 in A-Sun action, while the Camels improved to 18-9, 13-5.
"We did not play well, obviously," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "It's hard to overcome turning the ball over that much. As a team, we will go back to work. There's a lot of basketball left this season and I still believe in this team."
The first half got off to a terrible start for the Bucs, as the Camels hit four 3-pointers in the first eight minutes and the Bucs struggled to find an offensive rhythm. That combination led to a 22-6 lead for Campbell at the 10:32 mark of the first half.
ETSU managed to cut the lead to 12 three different times later in the half, but ultimately still trailed by 16 at 35-19 to end the half. At the intermission, the Camels had shot a strong 52 percent from the floor and even more impressive 67 percent (6-of-9) from 3-point range. Meanwhile, the Bucs hit on just 33 percent from the field before the break and was held to its lowest first half point production of the year.
After the break, the story was the same for the Camels. Forcing turnovers and hitting from outside, the Camels led by as many as 33 points at 76-43 with 4:05 left in the game. ETSU never recovered and could not get closer in the second half.
For the game, Campbell shot 50 percent from the floor and 48 percent from 3-point range. The Camels also dished out 19 assists and collected 14 steals. ETSU outrebounded Campbell 40-29, but hit on just 39 percent of its shots for the game.
The Bucs were led offensively by junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) with 14 points, while freshman guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) added 11. Campbell got a game-high 19 points from guard Lorne Merthie, who finished 5-of-10 from 3-point range, while Miles Taylor and Junard Hartley added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The Bucs will return to action Sunday at 4 p.m., hosting USC Upstate on Senior Day inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.