Friday, November 21, 2014

Gaines' Dunk Sends Campbellsville to Key Win Over Cumberlands

(19) Campbellsville 55
(25) Cumberlands 54

Final from Campbellsville, Kentucky

Game recap by CU:

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Eric Gaines may have well hit a detonator. The Powell Athletic Center crowd exploded with cheers as the senior from Chicago, intercepted a pass near midcourt and threw down a fast-break, one-handed jam with 25 seconds remaining Thursday, giving No. 19 Campbellsville University a 55-54 win over No. 25 University of the Cumberlands.

Cumberlands' Xavier Owens forced a short jumper on the final shot, but the ball bounced off the rim as time expired.

Gaines, who missed the first week of the season due to injury, collected his first double-double of the season, 15 points and 12 rebounds.

"I thought E was just tremendous. He's not been playing great. He missed the last two weeks of preseason play, the first scrimmage and a couple of games. He's still a week behind everyone else," CU Head Coach Keith Adkins said. "There's nobody I've ever had around me, including (2010 MSC Player of the Year) Nestor Colmenares, that has a will to win and a desire to be successful more than Eric Gaines. It was a big play by a big-time player, and man, that's the difference.

"He finds a way to get to the rim. He's an unorthodox player, but he's an absolute warrior, and I'll go to war with him every day."

The win puts Campbellsville (7-1, 2-0 MSC) back in the win column after dropping its first game of the season Saturday at No. 4 Benedictine College (Kan.) and keeps CU at the top of the Mid-South Conference standings, along with No. 2 Pikeville (6-0, 3-0 MSC) and Life University.

The entire game was played within no more than a two-possession margin.

D'Von Campbell gave Campbellsville its first lead of the game, three minutes in, after a defensive board and basket. He finished with a career-high 12 boards and had 14 points for his first double-double as a Tiger. He added four assists.

The Tigers worked their lead to as many as six points three times in the first half, but CU went on a three-minute scoring drought. Cumberlands evened the score, 17-17, on a Matt Welch 3, but Campbell answered with a 3 to keep CU in front. The Patriots tied it once more, but Darius Clement buried a 3 as the shot clock expired with 5:11 to play. CU ended the half up 30-26 after Elliott Young drained a 3 from the top of the key with three seconds remaining.

Complete Recap

Eric Gaines' game-winning dunk:

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