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Vernon Payne led two stat categories Thursday night by scoring 22 points and pulling down nine boards which were enough to give Campbellsville University another victory over Bluefield College 69-55.
Sean Scott and Chris Smith added 13 and 12 points, respectively, to contribute to the win. Scott also had seven assists.
“We needed a win, especially coming off a bad loss against Cumberland Tennessee,” CU head coach Keith Adkins said. “This wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world. We played more zone in this game than we probably have in five or six years, but the bottom line is we needed a win and it doesn’t matter how it comes. We’ll take it.”
Bluefield won the tip, but a CU defensive stand led to a Smith basket to open the night. He was quickly answered by a Ram basket by Bryon Carpenter, who would lead their scoring with 17 on the night. The teams exchanged baskets until the 15-minute mark, after which Bluefield went on a 13-0 run to put go up by 10, 22-12. A Malik Thomas and-one ended the streak and shifted the momentum, enabling CU to climb back.
With only 3.6 seconds left in the half, and the Tigers down by two, some quick ball movement led to a buzzer-beater 3-point basket by Darius Clement, assist by Scott, to end the half with CU team on top 31-30.
Payne, who had taken a hard fall at the end of the first half, returned to open scoring up with a quick basket for the Tigers. Responding to a few points from Bluefield’s Carpenter, Payne would lead CU on an 11-0 run to widen the gap with a 7-0 individual run of his own. The Rams couldn’t find a way to come back from the deficit, as Campbellsville continued to pull away. The Tigers didn’t have trouble finding the back of the net during the game, ending the night shooting 41 percent behind the arc and 51 percent from inside.
Addison Smith also made it on the board with an impressive nine points and eight rebounds.
CU (12-7 overall and 6-5 in the MSC) remained in the area to play West Virginia Tech over the weekend. The Tigers will host Shawnee State on Thursday (8:00) and Rio Grande on Saturday (4:00) in women’s/men’s doubleheaders.
CU Tigers 69, Bluefield 55
Campbellsville (69) — A. Smith 2-2 5-6 9, Payne 9-11 4-6 22, C. Smith 4-8 1-2 12, Ennis 0-2 2-2 2, Scott 4-11 2-3 13, Ray 0-0 0-0 0, Stanic 0-0 0-0 0, Clement 2-4 0-0 5, Britt 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor 1-1 0-0 2, Thomas 1-2 1-1 3, Muslic 0-0 1-2 1, Myers 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 23-45 16-22 69.
Bluefield (55) — Totals 22-63 8-13 55.
Half-time — Campbellsville 31-30. 3-pointers — Campbellsville 7-17 (C. Smith 3-3, Scott 3-7, Clement 1-3), Bluefield 3-26. Rebounds — Campbellsville 37 (Payne 9, A. Smith 8), Bluefield 33. Assists — Campbellsville 14 (Scott 7, A. Smith 3, Ennis 2), Bluefield 14. Steals — Campbellsville 6 (A. Smith 2, Ennis 2), Bluefield 7. Turnovers — Campbellsville, Bluefield 8.