BUIES CREEK, N.C. – After traveling nearly halfway across the country for Sears BracketBusters games, Campbell (17-12, 11-5) and High Point (11-17, 7-10) return to Big South Conference play Wednesday at the Millis Center.
Campbell enters the game tied with Coastal Carolina for 2nd place in the Big South standings. If the Camels win both Wednesday and Saturday, they would clinch the 2nd seed in next week's Advance Auto Parts Big South Championship at Asheville, regardless of the outcomes of the Chanticleers' games at Liberty and VMI.
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.
High Point is battling for a spot among the top six seeds, which byes into the quarterfinal round of the league tourney. The game marks the first of two Senior Night road games the Camels face this week. Campbell plays Saturday at Liberty (7:00 p.m.) in a game televised regionally by MASN.
On Dec. 3 at Buies Creek, Darren White scored 28 points and CU rallied to defeat High Point 72-62. Playing the final 24:56 without leading scorer Eric Griffin, who left the game with a deep cut on his right hand, the Camels overcame a 9-point deficit with 16:42 to go. Trey Freeman added 15 points and 9 assists for the Camels, who held the Panthers to 38 percent shooting for the game. Corey Law led High Point with a career-high 21 points, plus 15 rebounds, while Nick Barbour added 15 on 4-of-18 shooting.
Robbie Laing collected his 100th career coaching victory last Tuesday at Coastal Carolina. Over the last four years, CU has an overall record of 62-58 (.517), 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 made 35-straight free throws until he missed his first try Saturday at Northwestern State to break the school-record (29) he set earlier this year. On the year, Freeman leads all Big South freshmen in scoring (14.4), field goal % (.451), free throw % (.877) and assists (3.96). He has made 38 of his last 39 foul shots (.974).
Eric Griffin (65) has already broken the school record for blocked shots he set in 2011-12. He ranks 6th in the nation in FG% (.624) and also leads the Big South in blocks (2.32), while rating 2nd in rebounds (8.9) and 6th in scoring (16.8).
Lorne Merthie became the 25th player in CU history (since 1961-62) to reach 1,000 career points during the Feb. 9 game vs. Winthrop.
Darren White (490) and Eric Griffin (469) are on pace to become the first Fighting Camel teammates to score 500 points in a season since 1976-77 when Sam Staggers (602) and Don Whaley (538) accomplished the feat.
Wednesday's game matches two of the most accurate 3-point shooting teams in the country. High Point enters this week's play ranked 10th nationally with a 40.6 team 3-point percentage, while Campbell stands 22nd (.388). The Panthers average 8.6 threes made per outing, 15th-most in the nation.
Big South regular season champ UNC Asheville is the only school to sweep two league games from the Camels this year. The Bulldogs also won both contests with High Point, marking the only conference sweep of the Panthers.
High Point senior guard Nick Barbour enters Wednesday's contest with 2,048 career points, 6th all-time in Big South history. He stands only 18 points out of 5th place (Chavis Holmes of VMI, 2065 from 2005-09) and 22 shy of 4th (HPU's Arizona Reid, 2069 from 2004-08).
Barbour also ranks 7th among the Big South's all-time leaders in 3-point field goals (304). The Big South scoring leader at 20 points per game, Barbour has tallied a league-high five 30-plus point outings in 2011-12. In addition, he ranks 4th among league leaders in free throw shooting (.818) and tops the BSC in 3-pointers made (3.5) and 3-point % (.488), both of which stand 2nd in the NCAA Division I ranks.
Fellow senior guard Shay Shine stands 10th among Big South scoring leaders (15.5), 5th in free throw percentage (.814), 9th in field goal percentage (.460) and 14th in assists (2.93).