January 23, 2012

Lorne Merthie named Big South Conference player of the week

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Lorne Merthie of Campbell University has been named Big South Conference Choice Hotels Men's Basketball Player of the Week after leading the Camels to 3-straight league victories.

A senior from Sanford, Fla., Merthie averaged 16.3 points and 2.0 assists per outing while shooting 54.5 percent (12-22) from 3-point range and making 9-of-10 free throws as the Camels improved to 14-8 overall and moved into second place in the Big South standings (8-2).

In last Tuesday's 54-51 victory at Winthrop, the 6-foot-2 guard scored all 14 of his points after the Eagles built a 13-point lead with 6:27 left in the first half.  Merthie canned 3-of-5 treys on the night and scored Campbell's last 6 points as the Camels overcame a 48-46 deficit with less than 4:00 remaining.

With starting point guard Trey Freeman out due to injury for the Radford and VMI games, Merthie was instrumental in the Camels extending their win streak to 4 contests.  He ran the point and there's no way we win any of those 3 games without him.

Last Thursday, Merthie scored 19 of his season-high 21 pts (5-7 threes, 6-6 free throws) in the 2nd half to lift CU to a 73-65 victory at Radford.

On Saturday, he scored 14 points (4-10 threes) in an 80-73 win over VMI at Gilbert Craig Gore Arena as the Camels won their fifth game in six outings.

On the year, Merthie is averaging 7.6 points and shooting 39 percent (26-66) in 13 games.  Those numbers climb to 9.5 points and 41.7 percent (20-48) in 8 games against Big South Conference competition.  He missed the first 9 games of the season with a knee injury.

Merthie enters Thursday's game at Gardner-Webb with 957 points in 96 career games.  He is only 43 points shy of becoming the 25th player in Campbell history to reach 1,000 for his career. Merthie ranks 4th on the school career charts for career 3-pointers made (202) and attempted (495), 6th with 147 steals.

Camel Quick Notes:

  • Senior forward Eric Griffin averaged 18 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game and contributed 3-straight double-doubles.  He had 14 points and 11 boards in the win at Winthrop, 15 and 11 at Radford and 25 points, plus 10 rebounds in Saturday's triumph over VMI.
  • On the year, Griffin leads the Big South Conference and ranks seventh in the country in field goal percentage (.617).  He also tops the league in blocked shots (2.43), while rating second in rebounds (8.8) and 7th in scoring (17.0).  A 6-foot-8 product of Orlando, Fla., Griffin is tied for 9th among all Division I players with 9 double-doubles.
  • Junior wing Darren White scored 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field, grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds and deal a career-best 8 assists in Saturday's win over VMI.  A 6-foot-4 native of Danville, Va., White stands 3rd among Big South scoring leaders (18.6), 2nd in blocks (1.41) and 4th in field goal accuracy (.550).
  • In spite of missing the last two games with concussion-related symptoms, freshman guard Trey Freeman leads the Big South in free throw percentage (.850), stands 14th in scoring (14.6), 10th in field goal percentage (.469) and 9th in assists (3.24).
  • Campbell ranks fifth among 344 Division I members in team field goal percentage (.501), 14th in blocked shots (5.7) and 32nd in points scored per game (77.0).
  • The Fighting Camels' current 4-game win streak is the team's second-longest of the year behind an opening 5-game stretch that included a 77-61 victory at Iowa (Nov. 23).
  • The Camels lead the Big South Conference in home game attendance both in all (1871) and league (2020) games.  Three of the top five crowds in the 4-year old Gilbert Craig Gore Arena history have packed the facility this season, including a pair of 3000-plus turnouts in the 3095-seat building.
  • Campbell concludes a stretch of 4 road games in 5 outings this week with contests Thursday at Gardner-Webb (7:00) and Saturday at league leader UNC Asheville (4:30).  The Camels have won 3-straight games away from home.