The previous game I had seen between Charleston Southern and Campbell was much closer than the final score indicated. It was a high-scoring affair that was bucket for bucket until the Buccaneers pulled away late. Charleston Southern plays with the 17th-highest tempo while Campbell is 2nd in the nation at shooting the ball, so it was a no-brainer that I had to see the rematch, especially since Campbell plays much better at home.
I decided to take a different route to Campbell this time around, as there is no direct route to Buies Creek from Conway, so I was seeing if I could get up there a little bit faster. My new route was going to take me through some of the smaller towns in the Carolinas, which is a pain at times since you have slow way down to get through the downtown sections.
I was cruising up Hwy 9 going about 60 in a 55 when I was approaching the town of Nichols. The "Reduce Speed Ahead" sign came up and the limit quickly dipped to 40. I was able to slow down enough to get to about 48 when I passed the marker only to be greeted by another sign saying the limit was going to 25. I didn't want to slam on the brakes, so I eased my car down to an acceptable speed. Right as I entered the city limits I could see that someone was being pulled over on one of the side streets. My initial thoughts were "Whew! I'm glad that's not me" until I saw flashing blueberries in my rear view mirror.
With all this traveling I've been doing for the 800GP, I knew it was going to happen eventually since I was going through all these unfamiliar small towns. I got busted for going 37 in a 25, not a damning mark on my driving record, but nothing I was too pleased about. The 25 mile per hour speed limit is only for a few tenths of a mile and is an obvious speed trap with how quickly the speed decreases. The bustling town of 368 should just put a toll up in the center of the city, it would serve the same purpose.
Even with a speeding ticket in tow, it wasn't going to damper my mood. After the delay, I still made it to Campbell with plenty of time to spare (but I won't be taking that route again obviously). I was expecting a bigger crowd than what showed up since the Campbell game notes said the Camels were leading the Big South in attendance, which is nothing to brag about, but an "announced" crowd of 1,603 was still disappointing.
As expected, the game started pretty wide open as both teams weren't using much of the shot clock before jacking up a shot. I've seen the Bucs go on some pretty ridiculous hot streaks and jump out to some big advantages by doing this, but the shots weren't falling so easily tonight. The Camels had the early advantage using their big man Eric Griffin, who had six quick points, down low, since it seemed that CSU didn't have a legitimate way of stopping him.
CSU didn't quit chucking though and it payed off evenetually when some of the threes started to fall from Saah Nimley and Chris Grier. The teams would exchange the lead or tie throughout the rest of the first half, but it wasn't exactly efficient basketball. Charleston Southern shot 29 percent, while Campbell was only at 35 percent. There was plenty of fast and furious action, but there will still plenty of bricks being tossed around.
It seemed like the coaches gave their teams speeding tickets after the half, since they both came out at a much slower tempo. The shooting didn't see much of an upswing though, but the sloppiness was cleaned up.
A few minutes into the half it looked like Campbell was building somewhat of a lead, but Nimley hit consecutive threes to give the Bucs 45-44 lead. That would be the last points for CSU in nearly a seven-minute stretch. Campbell wasn't able to take full advantage with plenty of misses of their own although Andrew Ryan sank two threes to push the lead to five.
CU had the lead going into the final few minutes, but Arlon Harper got the Bucs to within one after scoring four straight points. Campbell had the ball with under a minute to go and Trey Freeman wanted to add to the lead, but CSU forced a stop.
The 5-foot-8 Nimley was able to grab his seventh rebound of the game and streak up the court and drive to the basket. Lorne Merthie was the lone defender and was able to strip Nimley as he was going up under the basket. Nimley was furious, as were the rest of the Bucs looking for a foul, but the Camels had the ball and the shot clock was off. It took 16 seconds before Freeman was fouled, wasting precious time. Freeman was able to make both and the Bucs had a chance to tie with 17 seconds to go. Jeremy Sexton had a good look in the corner for a three, but missed, as did Kelvin Martin's airball after an offensive board. CU sealed the game and came up with another close Big South victory.
I wasn't expecting a score of 62-57, but the offense was off tonight for both teams. Things were slowed down in the later stages and Campbell was able to get the stops it needed. I slowed things down as well on the way home, putting the cruise at the speed limit. The last thing I needed was another visit from another law enforcement officer.
at CAMPBELL 62, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 57 02/02/2012
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 14-8 (8-4) -- S. Nimley 4-13 2-3 14; M. Muo 1-8 2-2 5; K. Martin 4-11 1-2 9; J. Sexton 2-8 1-2 6; A. Harper 3-14 3-4 10; P. Gombwer 2-2 1-2 5; C. Grier 2-4 0-0 6; C. Bowen 1-2 0-0 2; S. Strickland 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-62 10-15 57. CAMPBELL 15-10 (9-4) -- E. Griffin 6-11 1-4 13; T. Freeman 5-13 10-10 22; L. Merthie 0-5 0-0 0; D. White 2-11 1-2 5; A. Horton 2-4 0-0 5; M. Harris 2-5 2-2 6; A. Ryan 3-4 1-2 9; R. Ferguson 1-5 0-0 2; A. Kalpic 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-59 15-20 62.
Three-point goals: CHSO 9-35 (K. Martin 0-1; J. Sexton 1-6; M. Muo 1-7; C. Grier 2-3; A. Harper 1-8; S. Nimley 4-10), CAMP 5-16 (L. Merthie 0-4; D. White 0-4; E. Griffin 0-1; A. Horton 1-2; A. Ryan 2-2; T. Freeman 2-3); Rebounds: CHSO 42 (K. Martin 7), CAMP 38 (D. White 7); Assists: CHSO 13 (J. Sexton 5), CAMP 18 (T. Freeman 7); Total Fouls -- CHSO 18, CAMP 17; Fouled Out: CHSO-None; CAMP-E. Griffin.