Savannah St. holds off Camels 69-63

Feb. 23, 2013 @ 08:20 PM

Rashad Hassan scored 19 points and Savannah State closed the game on an 8-3 run to hold off Campbell, 69-63, Saturday at Gore Arena in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters.

The Tigers (17-10) extended their winning streak to five games and have now won 12 of their last 13 outings.

Campbell (12-17) trailed by as many as nine in the second half before cutting the gap to one, 61-60, but was unable to tie or lead at any point.

Hassan came off the bench to hit 7-of-9 shots from the floor and 5-of-7 from the line for Savannah St. Deven Williams added 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting in a reserve role.  Preston Blackman chipped in 13, including a turnaround jumper from 12 feet with 0:45 left that extended the lead to 65-61.

Reco McCarter came off the Camel bench to hit career highs with 21 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Trey Freeman and Leek Leek each added 13 points for the Camels, who trailed 57-49 after Williams hit a 3-pointer with 8:43 to go.

Leek scored the first five points in an 11-4 rally and Freeman’s leaner with 1:59 to play trimmed the gap to 61-60.

Savannah St., with the nation’s fifth-best scoring defense allowing 54.4 points per game, held Campbell without a field goal until Andrew Ryan’s put-back with 0:13 to play provided the final margin.

Ryan entered the game averaging 23.5 points over the previous two outings but scored two points in 27 minutes Saturday.

Savannah St. jumped to a 15-5 lead before the Camels rallied with a 14-4 spurt. The Tigers led 38-33 at the break.

Winners of their last two Big South Conference games, the Camels (7-7) enter Wednesday night’s home finale against Longwood in second place in the North Division standings with two games remaining to be played. The top two seeds in each division earn a first-round bye in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Championship, Mar. 5-10 at Conway, S.C.