December 15, 2011

Camels continue road swing Saturday at Virginia Tech

Campbell Game Notes (pdf)

BLACKSBURG, VA. – Campbell (8-2) squares off against a familiar foe Saturday when the Fighting Camels travel to Virginia Tech for a 4:00 p.m. tip-off.

The Camels and Hokies (7-3) meet for the 3rd-straight year, the 2nd-consecutive at Cassell Coliseum.  Virginia Tech claimed a 71-60 victory on Nov. 27, 2009 at Buies Creek, then opened last season with a 70-60 triumph at home.

Coming off just its 2nd loss of the year (an 87-76 setback Wednesday at Houston Baptist), Campbell enters Saturday's contest ranked 3rd nationally in team field goal percentage (.527) and 9th in points scored per game (83.2).

In addition to senior forward Eric Griffin (17.9 points per game, 8.4 rebounds, .655 field goal percentage), a trio of Virginia natives have figured greatly in Campbell's best-ever start since joining the Division I ranks (in '77-78).

Junior wing Darren White (Danville, Va.) leads the Big South Conference and ranks 13th in the country in scoring (21.2).  Point guard Trey Freeman (Virginia Beach, Va.) tops Big South freshmen in scoring (17.1), assists (4.8), FG% (.467) and FT% (.895), while ranking 6th among the nation's top frosh leaders in points per game.  Sophomore Rico Ferguson (Richmond, Va.) is among the Big South's top 5 in assists (4.3) and steals (2.0).

Virginia Tech has won its last two games, most recently a 73-60 decision Sunday over Norfolk State.  Jarell Eddie paced the Hokies with 24 points on 5-of-6 threes and 7-of-7 from the line.

Camels vs. Hokies Notes:

All Campbell games are aired throughout the Sandhills region of North Carolina on WCLN 107.3 FM with Chris Hemeyer on the play-by-play.  Free audio of the broadcast is also available on-line at GoCamels.com.

The Fighting Camels are ranked 25th in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll.

Campbell stands 1-28 all-time against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference and has dropped its last 11 contests against ACC schools.  CU's only victory over an ACC school came on Dec. 4, 1993 in overtime at NC State (72-69).  Coach Robbie Laing's teams are 0-4 vs. the ACC in his 9 seasons, 0-2 vs. the Hokies.

In last year's season-opener at Blacksburg, Campbell played the tightest game against a nationally-ranked foe in its Division I era in a 70-60 loss against the 21st-ranked Hokies.  Eric Griffin had 13 points and 9 rebounds in his Camel debut, while Malcolm Delaney had 20 points (11-11 FT) for Tech which held a 41-24 edge on the glass and collected 20 second-chance points.

Campbell knocked off a BCS conference member for the second-straight year on Nov. 23 with a 77-61 triumph at Iowa.  Led by Griffin's 23 points (10-11 FG) and 13 rebounds, the Camels shot 62% from the field while holding the Hawkeyes to 36% shooting.  White (17), Freeman (15) and Ferguson (12) also hit double digits at Iowa.  CU also won 61-54 at Auburn (11/20/10).

First-year Campbell Director of Athletics Bob Roller is a 1983 graduate of Virginia Tech.  The Pearisburg, Va., native was a 4-year student assistant in the Hokie sports information office and started his professional career in the field before moving into athletics administration.  Roller joined the CU staff on July 20, 2011 after serving 11 years as A.D. at Samford University.

Big South Conference schools own a 1-7 record against ACC members this year heading into Saturday's action, which includes CU at Virginia Tech and Winthrop at Clemson.  Coastal Carolina won 60-59 at Clemson on Nov. 22.

The Camels are 2-2 on the road and have lost 2-straight away games since a Nov. 23 victory (77-61) at Iowa.  Virginia Tech stands 5-1 at Cassell Coliseum, the lone setback coming Dec. 4 vs. Kansas State (69-61).

The Camels and Hokies have been strong on the boards this season, out-rebounding their foes 8 times each through 10 games.

Two years ago at Buies Creek, the Hokies won a see-saw battle 71-60 over the Camels in a game that saw the lead change 12 times and the score tied on five occasions.  The game marked the first time that an ACC member played at Buies Creek during CU's Division I era (since '77-78).  CU set a Gore Arena (capacity 3095) record for largest single-game attendance (3205).

Amir Celestin (5.5 ppg vs. Tech) and Lorne Merthie (4.5 ppg) have faced the Hokies twice during their CU careers.

Following Saturday's game, the Camels continue their road trip Monday at UNC Wilmington (7:00).

NCAA Division I Freshman scoring leaders (through 12/11/11)
No.    Name                     School                     PPG
1.      Kyle Vinales            Central Conn. State    19.9
2.      Juan'ya Green         Niagara                      19.7
T3.     Justin Edwards        Maine                        17.9
T3.     Adam Smith            UNC Wilmington         17.9
5.      Stephan Hicks         CS-Northridge             17.5
6.      Trey Freeman        Campbell                  16.9
7.      BJ Young                Arkansas                   16.5
9.      Austin Rivers           Duke                         15.8
10.     Tahj Tate                 Delaware State           15.4