Campbell's Outside Shooting Lifts Butler
Butler 81, South Alabama 61
Saturday, March 22, 2008; Page E08
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 21 -- Following Butler's 81-61 rout of South Alabama on Friday afternoon, a victory that stirred memories of the Bulldogs' two NCAA tournament triumphs at BJCC Arena here five years ago, guard A.J. Graves was asked if the rims are extra friendly for his team and particularly for teammate Pete Campbell, who made six three-pointers in the first half and eight overall.
"I don't think Pete's shots hit the rim actually," Graves said.
He was not exaggerating.
Campbell, a senior forward who has started just nine games and was averaging 11.2 points, shot 7 of 9 before halftime, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer to cap a 25-7 run. He also made both attempts after the break to lead No. 7 Butler (30-3) into a second-round meeting with No. 2 Tennessee on Sunday. The Bulldogs defeated the Volunteers in the Preseason NIT last season and will enter this encounter having won five in a row and 14 of 15.
The 10th-seeded Jaguars (26-7) led 23-22 with seven minutes left in the first half when Campbell began making shots from NBA distances. He had 14 points in the final six-plus minutes as the Bulldogs stormed to a 47-30 halftime lead. His eight three-pointers tied a career high and his point total (26) matched his year's best.
"I think I said, 'Good pass' one time and [Graves] was like, 'I am going to keep looking for you because you've been open a few times, and I think we got a few more,' " Campbell said. "I kept saying the same thing; he just keep telling me to get open. Fortunately, some of them went down."
The Bulldogs shot 59 percent and made 9 of 18 three-pointers in the first half, and stretched the lead to 27 late in the game. Graves, a senior guard, had four three-pointers and finished with 18 points, 6 assists and 4 steals. Butler was 15 of 28 from long range overall and made more three-pointers than two-pointers (12) for the fifth time this season.
"A lot of those shots they made, we were right on them," Jaguars Coach Ronnie Arrow said. If "they can shoot the ball like that, they're going to go a long way in this tournament."