Campbell, Liberty, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi all punched tickets to the CIT quarterfinals on Monday with home wins and some strong individual performances.
While quarterfinal matchups will not be announced until the field is set, those three teams join UMBC, who advanced on Saturday. The winner of Idaho-Texas State will receive the final quarterfinal slot, and those five schools will join Saint Peter’s, Furman, and Fort Wayne, who all received byes to the quarters.
Liberty 66 Samford 58
Five of the six Liberty players to score on Monday registered in double-figures, led by John Dawson and Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz. Dawson filled the stat sheet with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals, while Pacheco-Ortiz had 13 points, six rebounds, and six assists.
The Flames struggled to close the season, dropping three of their last four and failing to register more than 67 points in any of those games, but have turned it on during the postseason. This was their second straight home victory, and per KenPom, the Bulldogs are the best team that Liberty has defeated all year.
Demetrius Denzel-Dyson had 19 points to lead Samford on 8-18 shooting. Wyatt Walker added a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Campbell 73 UT Martin 56
Despite 27 points from UT Martin’s Jacolby Mobley, the Chris Clemons Show lived to play another day. Clemons, the 5’9 guard whose prolific scoring made headlines early on in Champ Week, led all Camels with 26 points.
Campbell jumped out to an 18-point halftime lead thanks to a 26-8 stretch over the final 12 minutes of the first half. Damontez Oliver hit three threes in that span to key the Camels’ run.
In the second half, Campbell led by as many as 24 before allowing UT Martin to pull to within eight on a three-point play from Mobley with 6:28 remaining. From there, Campbell went on a 10-1 run, capped by a Clemons dunk to put the game away.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 82 Weber State 73
Rashawn Thomas (29 points) and Ehab Amin (25) combined for 21 of the Islanders’ 33 made field goals as the two of them out-shot Weber State in the second half. The two of them were able to cancel out a 6-11 three-point shooting performance from Jeremy Senglin (27 points) and a 14-25 overall mark from three for the Wildcats.
The difference came in the opportunities. Texas A&M-CC attempted 18 more field goals than Weber State because the Wildcats committed 21 turnovers, compared to just seven for the Islanders. The Islanders led by one at the half, but used a 9-0 run in the opening minutes of the second half to take a lead they never relinquished.
If Texas State prevails Tuesday night, the Bobcats look like a likely opponent for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi — the two campuses are only about a three-hour drive apart.