Campbell puts unbeaten record on line Friday at 25th-ranked Creighton
OMAHA, NEB. – On the strength of a 5-game win streak to open the season for the first time since joining NCAA Division I in 1977-78, Campbell concludes its three-game road trip through the Midwest on Friday in a 7:05 p.m. (CST) tip-off at No.-25 Creighton.
Friday's game will air throughout the Sandhills on WGQR 105.7 FM, the sister station of Campbell's flagship (WCLN 107.3 FM), which is committed to airing the North Carolina state high school playoffs. Free audio will also be available over the World Wide Web at GoCamels.com with Chris Hemeyer calling the play-by-play.
The Camels are coming off Wednesday's 77-61 win at Iowa – the program's first-ever triumph over a Big Ten Conference school. Friday's game is the finale of the Dale Howard Classic, which includes five teams from four states and is co-hosted by Iowa and Creighton.
Campbell (5-0) shot 62 percent from the floor Wednesday and held Iowa to just 36 percent shooting and out-rebounded the taller Hawkeyes 34-29.
Eric Griffin scored 23 points on 10-11 shooting, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked a career-high 6 shots. Darren White added 17 points and 5 assists. Trey Freeman had 15 points and 4 assists, while Rico Ferguson added 12 points, 6 rebounds and 6 dishes.
Campbell and Creighton (4-0) are two of 50 unbeaten teams among the 345 Division I programs through games of Nov. 23. CU is ranked No.-114 in the latest Jeff Sagarin Basketball rating.
Campbell ranks 2nd nationally in team field goal percentage (.557) and leads the Big South Conference in free throw percentage (.750), 3-point accuracy (.420) and blocked shots (7.2). CU is 2nd among league leaders in rebounding margin (+6.2), defensive FG% (.369) and assists (18.0).
Three of the top five scorers in the Big South Conference wear the Orange & Black. Eric Griffin is tied for the league lead (19.6 ppg), while Darren White is 3rd (19.4) and Trey Freeman 6th (16.4). Griffin also leads the BSC in FG% (.755), rebounds (9.2) and blocks (3.4).
Wednesday's 77-61 win at Iowa marked Campbell's second victory over a BCS conference team in the last two years. A year ago, CU won at Auburn 61-54. The triumph was CU's 4th all-time over a BCS league program, including 1993-94 season victories at North Carolina State and South Carolina.
Big South Conference teams have knocked off BCS schools 4 times so far this year. Coastal Carolina defeated LSU and Clemson, while Presbyterian won last week at #20 Cincinnati.
Campbell stands 0-8 all-time against teams ranked in the top-25. Most recently, CU dropped a 70-60 decision at 21st-ranked Virginia Tech on Nov. 12, 2010.
Ranked 25th by the coaches and 28th by the Associated Press, Creighton is off to its first 4-0 start since 2007-08.
All four of Creighton's wins have come by double-figures -- NC A&T (97-65), Chicago State (95-61), at UAB (70-60) and vs. Iowa (82-59).
The Jays were picked to win the MVC after returning 10 lettermen and 3 starters from last year's 23-16 team that reached the championship series of the College Basketball Invitational.
Sophomore forward Doug McDermott was named MVC Player of the Week after averaging 25 points and 8 rebounds, while shoot 63.6 percent from the floor. He scored 27 points at UAB on 11-of-18 shooting; then had 25 points on 10-of-15 field goals against Iowa.
Overall, McDermott is averaging 21.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 64 percent from the floor.
Creighton has won 12-straight home games overall, dating to a Jan. 12, 2011 loss vs. Wichita State. Nine of the 12 victories have come by double digits.
The Bluejays have also won 37-straight regular-season November home games, dating to a Nov. 27, 1989 setback against Coppin State.
Creighton alumni include Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson and NBA champion Paul Silas.
Following Friday's contest, Campbell returns home Thursday for its Big South Conference opener against Liberty.