Women’s Basketball Hosts Winthrop in Key Big South Contest

Amanda O'Neill (photo by Bennett Scarborough)
Amanda O'Neill (photo by Bennett Scarborough)

Game Notes: Campbell vs. Winthrop

BUIES CREEK, N.C.-Campbell will host Winthrop Saturday in Gilbert Craig Gore Arena, vying for position in the Big South Conference race. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m.

The Lady Camels are 15-10 overall with four regular season games remaining and hold an 8-6 record in Big South play. Campbell has won three in a row heading into Saturday's contest, including an 89-68 victory over High Point, and two on the road at Coastal Carolina and Charleston Southern.

With a 76-58 win at Charleston Southern on Monday, the 475th in the career of Lady Camel head coach Wanda Watkins, Campbell recorded its first 15 win season since 2000-01, and secured at least a .500 record for the year with five games, at minimum, to play.

The Lady Camels are currently alone in fourth in the conference standings, trailing High Point (14-11, 9-5) and Winthrop (15-11, 9-5), who stand tied for second place, by just one game, and league leading Liberty (18-8, 13-2).

Tonisha Baker, who scored 25 in Campbell's win at CSU, leads the team on the season at 13.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. The junior guard ranks 11th in scoring and 10th in rebounding in the Big South, while leading the league in steals (2.6 per game) and standing seventh in assists (3.5 per game). Baker also ranks highly among BSC players in a number of other categories, including field goal percentage (.418, 12th), blocks (0.6, 12th), assist-turnover ratio (1.3, fifth) and defensive rebounds (4.7, fourth).

Katelyn Bass, who became the 56th player in CU women's basketball history to pick up 17 or more rebounds in a game (recorded since 1974-75) on Monday, tallying 13 points and 17 boards, averages 11.1 points and 6.3 rebounds for the season. In conference games, the senior post ranks third in the league in field goal percentage (.519) and eighth in rebounding (6.8). Bass' 17 boards at CSU are the most by a Lady Camel since Ashley Williamson collected 18 against Coker to start off the 2008-09 season.

Jazmine Cooper also adds 9.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while Kate Cloxton tallies 6.7 points and 4.8 assists, ranking second in the Big South. Freshman Kiera Gaines is the team's fourth-leading rebounder at 3.8 per game, while leading the Lady Camels in blocks with Cooper at 22 on the season. That mark is tied for the seventh most in school single season history (recorded since 1982-83). As a team, the Lady Camel have shattered the single season school blocks record, now with 105 for the year (for record was 84, 2010-11).

Winthrop is 15-11 overall and 9-5 in conference play, coming into Buies Creek with a four game winning streak. The Eagles swept a home stand over Liberty and Radford last weekend after taking down UNC Asheville and Gardner-Webb on the road two weeks ago.

Dequesha McClanahan leads Winthrop and the Big South in scoring at 20.4 points per game, adding 7.5 assists, which also leads the league. Diana Choibekova, who sinks Big South leading 4.0 threes a game, also averages 16.2 points for WU with 6.2 rebounds, while Samiya Wright collects 12.6 points per game.

In the team's January meeting in Rock Hill, S.C., Winthrop used a 22-6 second half run to push past the Lady Camels 83-73 despite 20 points from CU's Katelyn Bass and a double-double from Tonisha Baker. McClanahan, who registered 10 points in the decisive run, finished the night with 23 points and 15 assists.

Campbell leads the all-time series 19-5, dating back to 1982. The Lady Camels were undefeated against Winthrop in Big South play before the loss in January, and now stand 16-1 in league games all-time. CU is 9-2 overall against Winthrop in Buies Creek.

After Saturday's game, the Lady Camels will wrap up the home portion of their 2011-12 schedule on Monday night, Feb. 27, hosting Presbyterian at 7 p.m. The game will be recognized as Senior Night, and will be the final home game for Katelyn Bass, Kate Cloxton and Amanda O'Neill. Campbell's final two regular season games will come of the road at Asheville (March 2, 7:30 p.m.) and at Gardner-Webb (March 5, 7 p.m.).