EDWARDSVILLE — Campbell used a 15-2 run over a 6:53 stretch in the second half to erase an eight-point SIUE lead and held on for a 77-74 win over the Cougars in men's basketball at Vadalabene Center on Tuesday.
SIUE has dropped three straight and fell to 1-3 with the loss. Campbell improved to 2-2 with the win.
"It was a disappointing loss for us," SIUE head coach Jon Harris said. "The guys responded. The energy was there, and we did some good things."
SIUE's Devin Thornton buried a 3-pointer from the right corner as the first half expired and the Cougars led 41-39 at the break. Both teams had sizable runs in the first half, which featured 10 lead changes and eight ties.
Campbell pulled out to a three-point lead in the second half thanks to five points in the first 1:03 of the period.
C.J. Carr converted on a three-point play, hitting a layup, getting fouled and making his free throw with 16:42 to play to tie the score, 46-46. Yemi Makanjuola then converted his own three-point play to put the Cougars up 49-46. Carlos Anderson made it a five-point lead with a jumper before the Camels evened the score.
Another jumper from Anderson was sandwiched by a pair of Campbell three-pointers from Troy Harper and Curtis Phillps, and the game was tied 53-53 with 14:18 to play.
Burak Eslik nailed a three-pointer from the right wing to move SIUE within two (75-73) with 50 seconds to play. On the ensuing possession, Fiorentinos forced a steal and found Carr in the front court. Carr was fouled and hit one of two shots to pull within one at 75-74. Campbell's Kyre' Hamer knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 77-74 with 25 seconds to play.
Following an SIUE timeout, Eslik made a drive to the basket but couldn't get the shot to fall. After an offensive rebound and a kickout, Carr had a look but couldn't get a three to fall as time expired.
"It's the 39 minutes before the shot that loses the game," Harris said. "You never lose a game in the last minute. It wasn't the missed free throw or the shot at the buzzer. It was everything that happens in the 39 minutes before that."
Carr led SIUE with a season-high 14 points. Fiorentinos scored in double figures for the second consecutive game, adding 13 points and five rebounds. Eslik scored 12 points, and Anderson scored 11 while pulling in seven rebounds. Makanjuola scored seven points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Cougars doubled up the Camels in total rebounds 48-24 and turned 20 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points.
Campbell forced 13 turnovers and scored 21 points as a result.
"The turnovers were the difference in the game, especially against a team like this that does a good job capitalizing on your mistakes," Harris added.
Chris Clemons scored a game-high 26 points to lead Campbell. Hamer added 10 points.
SIUE returns to the road for a Saturday matchup with No. 22 Butler.
"It's going to be very challenging to go in and get a win, but against a ranked opponent in a historic gym, it's the kind of atmosphere you want as a player," Harris said.