February 15, 2012

Campbell heads to Bayou Country Saturday to face Northwestern State in Sears BracketBusters

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Following an 8-day break from competition, Campbell returns to the floor Saturday in a 2:30 p.m. (CST) tip-off at Northwestern (La.) State in the Sears BracketBusters.

The Fighting Camels (17-11, 11-5 Big South) have won their last 2 games and 7 of their last 10 outings, while the Demons (14-12, 7-5 Southland) have lost three-straight.

Saturday's contest marks the third meeting all-time between the schools.  The programs split two games during Campbell's first two years of Division I competition (1977-78 and 1978-79).

All Campbell men's basketball 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.

Campbell capped its home schedule with a 67-58 win over Winthrop Feb. 9 to move into second place in the Big South Conference standings.  Northwestern State is in 3rd place in the Southland Conference East Division.

The Camels overcame a 7-point deficit midway through the second half against Winthrop thanks to a 20-4 run.  CU shot 63 percent from the field in the final period, 57 percent for the game. 

CU enters this weekend's game ranked 2nd in the country in team field goal shooting (.502).

Northwestern State is led by 6-foot-7 senior center William Mosley, who stands 2nd in the nation in blocked shots (4.3), 8th all-time (443).

Robbie Laing collected his 100th career coaching victory last Tuesday at Coastal Carolina.  Over the last four years, CU has an overall record of 62-57 (.521), a league mark of 42-34 (.553).  CU had never before won more than 61 games in a 4-year span as a Division I member (since 1977-78).

Freshman Trey Freeman has made 35-straight free throws, breaking the school-record (29) he set earlier this year.  On the year, Freeman leads all Big South freshmen in scoring (14.7), field goal % (.466), free throw % (.882) and assists (4.08).

Eric Griffin (62) has already broken the school record for blocked shots he set in 2011-12.  He ranks 5th in the nation in FG% (.628) and also leads the Big South in blocks (2.3), while rating 2nd in rebounds (8.7) and 7th in scoring (16.8).

Lorne Merthie became the 25th player in CU history (since 1961-62) to reach 1,000 career points during last week's game vs. Winthrop.  He enters Saturday's game at Northwestern State with 1,012 points in 102 contests.

Darren White (475) and Eric Griffin (454) are on pace to become the first Fighting Camel teammates to score 500 points in a season since 1977-78 when Sam Staggers (602) and Don Whaley (538) accomplished the feat.

White enters Saturday's game only 21 points shy of breaking the program's Division I era record for points scored by a junior (495 by Mark Mocnik in 1991-92).  Griffin is only 11 rebounds behind the senior class record for boards in a campaign (245) set by Joe Spinks in 1993-94.

Following Saturday's game, the Camels close out Big South regular season play next week at High Point (Feb. 22) and Liberty (Feb. 25).

Camels vs. Demons Quick Notes:

Current Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey played his first 3 years of college basketball at Northwestern State and saw action in the only two previous games between CU and the Demons.

On Dec. 14, 1977 at Natchitoches, Brey scored 7 points in NSU's 110-99 victory over the Camels.  The 110 points scored against CU stand as the largest total in CU's pre-3-point line Div. I era (1977-86).

One season later, the Camels defeated the Demons 67-64 (Jan. 27, 1979) at the Raleigh Civic Center.  Brey started at guard and scored 6 points while dealing 5 assists before fouling out.

Current Charlotte Bobcats President and Chief Operating Officer Fred Whitfield -- a member of the Campbell Sports Hall of Fame -- hit double digits in both games against Northwestern State.  At Natchitoches, Whitfield made 6-8 FG and 4-5 FT in a 16-point performance.  The following season in Raleigh, he scored 14 points (5-9 FG, 4-5 FT) and dealt 7 assists.

Before Camel freshman Trey Freeman set a new school record for consecutive free throws made, the previous mark of 26-straight made foul shots was accomplished by Darrell Mauldin in 1978-79, when he led the nation with a 92.1 FG% (70-of-76).  Ironically, Mauldin missed 1 of his 5 attempts vs. Northwestern State on Jan. 27, 1979 at the Raleigh Civic Center.  Freeman's 35-straight made from the line ties the school standard set by John Huffstetler, who canned 35 in a row over the end of the '84-85 and start of the '85-86 seasons.