(NOTE: Asheville released a statement last night in Kimmel-Gate. I will post a rebuttal later today. For now, head over to the Citizen-Times for an off-color response from Keith Jarrett).
Eddie Biedenbach is not John Belushi, but whatever he told the Bulldogs at halftime sure made them cook for the last 20 minutes. Jeremy Atkinson scored 22 points in front of what must have been his entire family as the Bulldogs rallied from 17 points down to beat the Camels in Buies Creek. (Side note: Why camels? There are no Camels in Buies Creek, which is like the town of Elon but near Fayetteville).
All kidding aside, Campbell is a tough place to play and it was definitely loud in there, at least while Campbell absolutely dominated for most of the first half. The Bulldogs got it down to twelve at the half, and really started to cook right out of the gate in the 2nd with back-t0-back threes from J.P. Primm and Matt Dickey. The real story, however, is Jeremy “Big Country” Atkinson, who hit a career-high 22 points against a much larger Campbell frontcourt. Jeremy Atkinson may not be the second coming of John Williams, but he’s a more well-rounded basketball player and demonstrated that he’s a threat from both the paint and perimeter last night. Once Atkinson turned it on, Campbell had to pay more attention to him giving Primm and Dickey the green light from outside.
Some things still need to be worked on. Jeremy Harn had a frustrating night, committing stupid fouls at times and ending up with 0 points and 4 fouls. Jaron Lane scored a lot of points but fouled out with approximately 3 minutes to go. Some of this can be attributed to Campbell’s size, but Asheville needs to play smarter in close situations. Free throw shooting was also a major problem. Asheville had the opportunity to put the game away at the foul line several times, but was only able to do so in the final minutes.
This was a tough win in a hostile environment against one of the best teams in the conference. Now the Bulldogs have to keep ignoring Kimmel-gate while they focus on a Saturday game against High Point and a BIG, nay HUGE game against Coastal Carolina at Kimmel on Tuesday. As Eddie said last night, it’s important for everyone who can to make it to this game. On that note, I’m going to be giving away two tickets to see the Tuesday game (they’re mid-court, three rows back). Contest rules will be announced later today.