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Campbellsville University never overcame a slow start and dropped its regular-season opener 86-84 on Saturday to Union University in Jackson, Tenn.
After an early deadlock at 2-2, the Bulldogs used a 22-5 run to build a 24-7 cushion.
The Tigers cut the deficit to 10 before Union reeled off another 12-2 run to post its largest lead of 20 points (47-27) with 4:12 remaining in the first half.
Campbellsville cut the Union lead to seven (49-42) at the half and kept second-half momentum but could never take the lead due mainly to dismal 8-19 shooting from the charity stripe.
The Tigers did tie the game four times in the second half, the last time coming at 79-79 with 2:13 left.
Campbellsville trailed by two late in the contest, but the Tigers struggled to get off a shot in the waning seconds and its last-ditch effort fell short.
Union went 9-18 from behind the three-point arc in the first half, but missed all 14 of its second-half three-point attempts.
CU hit 12 treys, but attempted 33.
Marcus Nicks led Campbellsville with 22 points, including six three-pointers, while Nestor Colmenares had 19 points, Deveon Jenkins 15 and Jordan Benock 12.
Colmenares also had eight rebounds while Jenkins had seven and Benock and Kyle Martin grabbed six apiece.
Jenkins had five of the CU's 12 assists.
The Tigers were rated 11th in the NAIA Division 1 pre-season poll while Union University checked in at No. 19.
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The Tigers lost their second exhibition game 96-56 to No. 19-rated NCAA Division-1 Arkansas on Tuesday at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark.
The game, played in front of 8,476, featured Paintsville High School graduates guiding their respective teams - Keith Adkins (Campbellsville) and John Pelphrey (Arkansas).
The Tigers led on Marcus Nicks' three-pointer, but the Razorbacks lead stretched to 30-3 before Campbellsville's next field goal, a lane jumper by Clint Graham.
Arkansas used full-court pressure to force Campbellsville into 19 first-half turnovers and Pelphrey's team led 50-24 at the intermission.
Arkansas hit five of its nine three-point attempts in the second half as the Tigers could got no closer than 29 in the final 10 minutes and the home team scored the final six points to win by 40.
Arkansas outscored Campbellsville 46-15 in the paint and outrebounded the Tigers 45-25.
The Razorbacks, who had 20 second-chance points to 0 for the Tigers, won their first exhibition 117-43 over West Florida on Nov. 2.
John Wooden Award nominee Patrick Beverley led five Arkansas players in double figures with 20, including 4-4 on three-pointers.
Nicks led all scorers with 23 for Campbellsville, which included four three-pointers and 5-5 at the charity stripe.
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Campbellsville plays in the Lindsey Wilson College Classic over the weekend in Columbia.
The Tigers play Wayland Baptist tomorrow night at 7 and St. Francis (Ind.) on Saturday afternoon at 1.
Next week, CU plays in the Huntington (Ind.) Classic vs. Madonna on Nov. 16 (6:00) and the host school or Kuyper (Mich.) on Nov. 17 at 1 or 3.
After a pair of games in the Pikeville Classic on Nov. 20-21, the Tigers will have their home debut on Nov. 23-24 in the Lou Cunningham Classic.
In that Classic, CU battles Faulkner (Ala.) and defending NAIA champion Oklahoma City.