Campbellsville shot 38 percent, while Bethel University fired almost 54 percent from the floor to down the 11th-ranked Tigers in the opening game of Mid-South Conference/Southern States Athletic Conference Challenge, 90-77.
Playing without leading scorer Hagen Tyler (19 ppg.), Campbellsville was unable to find any offense from the outside. The Tigers shot 18 percent from deep (5-of-28) but Bethel didn’t light it up either, finishing 5-of-16 (31 percent).
Bethel’s leading scorer Darren Davidson and teammate Andrew Rogan both led the Wildcats (5-0) with 18 points. Campbellsville (4-2) picked up a game-high 19 points from Erik Kinney, while Rod Lawrence followed with 16.
It was those two and Antonio Chapman, who was inserted into the starting lineup for Tyler, to pick up early foul trouble and it cost CU down the stretch.
The Tigers led 14-11 with 12:57 left in the first half but Bethel went on a 24-10 run and took its first double-digit lead, 35-24.
But CU would go on a mini 7-1 run, as Kinney made a free throw and layup before Lawrence and Shawn Jonson made consecutive baskets to cut the lead to five, 36-31. Johnson was able to cut the lead to as little as five, 38-33, with a pair of free throws, but CU did not make a field goal in the final 2:47 allowing Bethel to lead 43-34 at the break.
The Wildcats quickly pushed their lead to 51-34 after an 8-0 run to start the second half and Kinney, Lawrence and Chapman all went to the bench with four fouls and CU down 53-35.
Chapman fouled out with 8:06 left but Jalen Coates was able to cut the deficit to 10 points with 5:10 on the clock. Coates finished the day with 13 points and three of the Tigers’ nine assists
Just after his 13th point, Coates was called for a hand-check and fouled out with 4:56 left. Lawrence was next with 3:31 remaining and the Tigers didn’t have enough fire power to make a run.
Campbellsville held the slight rebounding edge (37-35) and also hit 74 percent from the free throw line (26-of-35). Bethel finished with 36 foul shots and hit 25 for 69 percent.
The Tigers will now have a quick turnaround in the Mid-South/Southern States Challenge, as CU will play No. 22 Faulkner University tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 18. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET at Martin Methodist College and fans can listen on the CU Sports Network, 88.7 The Tiger and WLCUFM.com.