I said in the latest Big South Power Rankings that I just couldn't buy into the Campbell Camels and their 2-0 start in the Big South after seeing them in person against Longwood on Saturday. The Camels played well, but their comeback win on Saturday was more of a result of Longwood imploding than Campbell storming back, in my opinion.
Tonight rookie head coach Kevin McGeehan tried to get his team to 3-0 in the conference and, more importantly, 3-0 in the North Division. At halftime, Campbell found themselves down 43-30 and without a trip to the free throw line. Then the reigning Big South Player of the Week for the last two weeks Reco McCarter decided to take over.
To give you perspective on Carter, a VCU transfer, here are his last 4 games coming into Tuesday's match up with Liberty:
McCarter wasn't as hot tonight as he has been the past two weeks, especially from the free throw line, but a layup with 10:32 left in the game would put the Camels up 52-51. Andrew Ryan, who had a career high 22 points, would nail a three with 8:42 remaining to grow the Camel lead to 58-55.
A nearly 8 minute drought would then ensue from the field for Campbell until Ryan hit his sixth three-pointer of the night to cut a Liberty lead to 67--65. After an Andrew Smith layup, McCarter would nail a three for his fourteenth point of the evening and bring the Camels within one.
Flames guard Davon Marshall would then struggle from the free throw line missing two free throws in two different sequences, giving life to the Camels. With 14 seconds left the Camels would once again turn to McCarter, as he leaned into Antwan Burris on a three pointer. There was no question that Burris was moving and this should have resulted in three free throws for McCarter and potentially a one point lead, but the whistle stayed silent from Jerry Heater, Jeff Nichols, and Tim Comer. The lack of a call would eventually let the Flames escape with a 71-68 win.
Tomasz Gielo lead the escaping Flames with 17 points and 7 boards, while Andrew Smith added 15 points and 7 rebounds. The Flames will try to move 3-1 in the conference Saturday when they host High Point, while Campbell will host VMI in Buies Creek.
Big South North Division: