Campbell’s Chris Clemons scores 51 in quarterfinal upset

Carlos Morales/

Campbell guard Chris Clemons bursted on to the scene in November, when the 5-foot-9 sophomore posterized a Samford defender who was nearly a foot taller.

Somehow, the diminutive scoring guard topped that clip with arguably the most impressive individual performance of the 2016-17 season.

In a 81-79 upset win over No. 2 seeded UNC Asheville in the Big South Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon, Clemons scored 51 points, tying South Dakota State’s Mike Daum for the highest point total by a player this season. He shot 18-of-32 from the field and 8-of-14 from beyond the arc.

According to Stan Cole, Campbell Associate Athletics Director of Communications, Clemons broke the Big South Tournament record for points in a single game. The previous high was set in 1993 when Towson’s Devin Boyd scored 36.

(Side note: He also recorded a block. His 17th of the season.)

Clemons becomes the fourth player this season — second player this week — to go for 50 or more points in a single game. Central Michigan guard Marcus Keene, the nation’s leading scorer, scored 50 on Miami (OH) on Jan. 21. Daum dropped 51 on Fort Wayne on Feb. 18. On Tuesday night, Eastern Michigan senior guard Ray Lee went for 50 in a win over Keene and the Chippewas. College basketball had gone three full seasons without a player hitting the half-century mark (South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters scored 53 in 2013), but now four players — let’s also remember Malik Monk recorded a 47-point game against North Carolina in December — have accomplished that feat.

In a first-round game, Clemons led the No. 7 seed Camels to an 81-62 win over Presbyterian with a 27-point, eight-rebound effort.

Campbell improves to 16-16 on the season and advances to the semifinals to face either Liberty or Radford.

Photo courtesy of Carlos Morales/