Lady Camels Open Big South Play with Gardner-Webb Friday

Wanda Watkins (photo by Bennett Scarborough)
Wanda Watkins (photo by Bennett Scarborough)

BUIES CREEK, N.C.-Campbell will make its 2011-12 Big South debut Friday at 7 p.m., taking on defending conference women's basketball champion Gardner-Webb in Gore Arena.

The Lady Camels, at 7-4 overall, finished up the nonconference portion of their schedule last week with a 62-46 win over Bethune-Cookman in the Stetson Hatter Classic. Campbell's seven wins before Christmas were the most since the 1990-91 season, when the team posted an 8-3 mark before Dec. 25.

Junior guard Tonisha Baker leads CU on the season at 12.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, while Jazmine Cooper, a junior forward, adds 10.4 points and 5.4 boards a game. Senior forward Katelyn Bass tacks on 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Kate Cloxton posts 5.2 assists per game, while Roslyn Presley collects 7.8 points per outing.

Gardner-Webb is 1-9 fresh off its first win of the season, a 56-45 victory over North Carolina Central. The Bulldogs are surrendering 76.3 points per game while scoring only 44.9, facing three ranked opponents in their nonleague slate.

Catrina Green leads GWU on the season at 9.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, with Jasmine Dale gathering 8.0 points per outing. KiKi Smith also records 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds.

Friday's game will be Campbell's first conference contest as a Big South member since March 5, 1994, when the Lady Camels fell 72-71 to Coastal Carolina.

Before its 17 year stay in the Atlantic Sun, Campbell, a founding member of the Big South, was 80-26 in eight seasons (1986-94), making six consecutive conference tournament finals appearances from 1987-92.

Campbell won the 1989 title game, and earned the 1990-91 regular season championship with a perfect 12-0 record in league play.

The Lady Camels will be facing Gardner-Webb for the first time since 2008 when the Bulldogs were also an A-Sun Conference member. Campbell and GWU shared A-Sun affiliation from 2003-2008 when the Bulldogs relocated to the Big South.

Campbell owns the 12-8 advantage in the all-time series with the Bulldogs, including an 8-1 mark in Buies Creek. CU also owned the edge in conference games at 7-5.

After Friday's contest, the Lady Camels will continue conference play, hosting UNC Asheville on Monday, Jan. 2 at 5:15 p.m.