GWU falls in 3OT thriller at Campbell
Campbell got eight points in the third overtime from Darian Hooker and outscored Gardner-Webb 18-6 in the third overtime period to win 93-81 in both teams’ Big South Conference opener.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs (8-7, 0-1 Big South) tied the game with 4.4 seconds left in regulation on three free throws from freshman Isaiah Ivey after falling behind by as many as 10 points in the second half. Gardner-Webb jumped out early in the first overtime, but saw Campbell rally to tie on a free throw with 56 seconds left. Gardner-Webb forced a shot clock violation with 5.8 seconds left and got a 17-foot look for Tashan Newsome from the right wing, but his shot was just off the mark at the buzzer.
Campbell drew first blood in the second overtime period, and kept Gardner-Webb out of the lead. The Camels took a 75-74 edge on a short jumper by Marvelle Harris with 4.2 seconds remaining – sending the Pope Convocation Center crowd into a frenzy – but Newsome was fouled 70-feet from the basket as he attempt to get down court with 1.5 seconds left.
The Albany, N.Y., redshirt senior made the first free throw to tie the game, but his second shot bounced off the rim twice before missing – sending the contest into a third overtime.
Hooker started the scoring in the final five minutes with a three-pointer and Gardner-Webb went ice cold from the floor. After Donta Harper cut the lead to 78-77 on a layup with 3:41 left, the Runnin’ Bulldogs would not hit a field goal – and Hooker led a Campbell charge that slowly allowed the hosts to pull away for a win.
Gardner-Webb finished 1-for-6 from the floor in the final five minutes, while Campbell knocked down four of its five field goals – including a pair of treys from Hooker.
In addition to Newsome’s 26 points, Gardner-Webb got 13 points from Kevin Hartley, 12 from Max Landis and 10 from Harper. The Runnin’ Bulldogs shot 35.1 percent from the floor Saturday (27-of-77) and made just 6-of-22 from long range (27.3 percent). GWU knocked down 21-of-28 free throws (75.0 percent) and turned 20 offensive rebounds into a 14-8 edge in second chance points. Both Harper and point guard Tyler Strange fouled out in the game.
Campbell got a season-high 24 points from Trey Freeman, who added nine assists and five rebounds in a strong overall showing. Darius Leonard scored a career-high 16 points and 15 rebounds in the post, Hooker added 15 points and the Big South’s leading scorer Darren White added 16 points.
The Camels shot 49.2 percent for the game against Gardner-Webb, the highest shooting percentage allowed by GWU this season (31-of-63). Campbell knocked down 4-of-12 from deep and made 27 free throws (42 attempts).
Gardner-Webb forced eight early turnovers to jump out to an early 16-6 lead, and led 25-16 with 6:19 to play in the first half. Campbell stormed back, going on a 13-2 run to take a 29-27 lead – its first of the game with 1:04 left on a steal and fastbreak layup by Hooker. None of Campbell’s five field goals during the spurt came from outside of 10 feet.
Tyler Strange three-pointer with 46.7 seconds left quieted a surging crowd and gave Gardner-Webb the lead back at 30-29. After a defensive stop, Newsome went to the line with 6.6 seconds left in the half and knocked down the first of two for a 31-29 edge – but Campbell’s Reco McCarter rebounded the second miss and sank a leaning, 20-foot shot at the buzzer to tie the score at intermission.
Gardner-Webb surged back in front briefly to start the second half on a pair of free throws and a dunk by Newsome for a 36-33 lead, but saw a physical Campbell squad – paced by White – go on an 8-2 run to take a 41-38 advantage with just under 14 minutes remaining.
After Newsome cut the lead back to one, 41-40, with a pair of free throws – the Camels went on an 8-0 spurt to go up 48-40. Gardner-Webb shot just 3-of-17 in the first 12:29 of the second half, and Campbell took advantage to slowly build a 56-46 lead on the shoulders of Freeman and White.
Gardner-Webb gathered itself in the final five minutes to eventually work the game back even. With Campbell leading 60-50 and just 5:08 on the clock, the ‘Dogs started an 8-0 run with a Strange three-pointer. Newsome converted a layup and Hartley drained a three with 3:06 left to make the score 60-58 before the Camels could recover.
Freeman scored four in a row to push the Camels back up by six, 64-58, with 39 seconds left – but Gardner-Webb would rally. Hartley drained a three with 22 seconds left to cut the lead to 64-61 and, after a pair of missed free throws by Leonard, Gardner-Webb would have its chance. Ivey was fouled on a three-point attempt following a GWU timeout with 4.4 seconds left and made all three. A Hooker heave from 30 feet at the buzzer banked and bounced off the goal, but wouldn’t fall as the game went into bonus time.
The game was the first multiple-overtime affair for Gardner-Webb since a 95-90 win over Liberty on February 4, 2009.
Gardner-Webb returns home to face two-time defending Big South Conference champion UNC Asheville on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Paul Porter Arena.
*GWU Sports Information contributed to this report