ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Tonisha Baker scored 15 points to lead Campbell to a 73-56 Big South Conference opening-game victory over homestanding UNC Asheville Saturday afternoon at Kimmel Arena.
The Bulldogs (1-6, 0-1 BSC) were led by a season-high 21 points from Shonese Jones. Gentry Manley added 11 points, while Jeannie Buckner just missed a double-double with nine points and a career-high 10 rebounds.
Monique Spry added 11 points for the Lady Camels (5-2, 1-0 BSC). She scored all of her points in the opening half.
"Our effort was much better today, but we didn't execute as well as could have on offense," commented first-year coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. "Campbell has a good team. We tried switching defenses on them but they did a good job with their offense."
Campbell hit four of its five 3-pointers of the game to race to a 31-14 lead. Spry had 11 points in the opening half and had two treys. Her three-point play at the 5:51 mark gave the Lady Camels a 17-point lead.
But Asheville began to rally. The Bulldogs getting seven points from Buckner went on a 14-6 run over the next five minutes to carve the Campbell lead to 37-28 on Buckner's long trey from the right corner. Baker scored with 10 seconds left to give CU a 39-28 halftime lead.
Campbell shot .515 (17-of-33) from the field in the first half and was 4-of-9 from long distance. Asheville shot .423 (11-of-26) from the field and also went 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.
In the second half, the visitors put the game away with a run midway through half. Leading 41-30, the Camels went on a 12-2 run over a five-minute stretch to push the CU lead to 53-32. RaeChaun Edwards had five points in the run, including a long trey to give Campbell its biggest lead at the 12:14 mark.
The Bulldogs kept battling and whittled the lead down to 15 on long trey from Grace Blaylock at the 8:47 mark. However, Campbell responded with an 8-2 run to get the lead back up to 21, and Asheville could get no closer than the final margin.
The short-handed Bulldogs were without four players due to injuries.
Campbell had good balance in its scoring as 11 players scored for the Camels. Ashley James and Edwards scored eight points each for the visitors.
Paige Love had four assists for Asheville, while Kelli Riles had three steals.
The Bulldogs are on the road at USC Upstate Monday night at 7 p.m. Campbell hosts Columbia College on Monday at 11:45 a.m.