Camels head to Radford for key Big South Conference North Division contest
RADFORD, VA. – Looking to continue its push toward a first-round bye in next month's Big South tourney, Campbell (11-6, 6-7) faces a key game Tuesday in a 7:00 p.m. tap at Radford (12-15, 6-7).
The Camels and Highlanders sit 1/2 game behind VMI (6-6) in the North Division standings with 3 league games to play. The top two seeds in each division earn a first-round bye in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Championship, Mar. 5-10 at Conway, S.C.
Campbell is coming off an 87-78 win Saturday over VMI at Gore Arena, where the Camel bench outscored the Keydet reserves 60-18. Andrew Ryan (27) and Antwon Oliver (17) hit career scoring highs, while Reco McCarter added a career-best 10 rebounds, plus his top scoring outing (14) in Big South play. Trey Freeman dealt a career-high 14 assists, the 2nd-highest single game total in CU history as the Camels ended a 6-game losing streak.
Radford could not overcome 26 percent shooting in the first half of Saturday's 76-61 loss at Longwood.
Following Tuesday's game, the Camels return to Buies Creek for their final two home games of the year, starting with Saturday's 4:00 p.m. tip-off against defending MEAC regular season champ Savannah State.
Campbell vs. Radford Notes:
- On Jan. 23 at Buies Creek, Trey Freeman (17) and Darian Hooker (15) combined for 32 points and Campbell held off Radford 69-60. Radford scored 14-straight points early in the 2nd period to take its only lead (44-43) with 12:24 left. However, the Camels answered with an 18-7 burst. R.J. Price led Radford with 22 points, including 5-of-11 treys.
- Radford owns an 8-3 home record, 4-2 vs. the Big South (2-1 vs. the North Division) at the Dedmon Center. Campbell enters Tuesday's action 3-8 on the road, 2-4 on Big South opponent home floors (1-2 at Big South North teams).
- Highlanders sophomore forward Javonte Green is averaging 16.3 points and 9.6 rebounds while shooting 50.3% from the floor against Big South teams. He had 13 points (5-14 FG) and 8 rebounds last month at Campbell. In last week's win at VMI, Green went for 20 and 16.
- Coming off the school's best assist performance in 20 years, Trey Freeman has moved up to 18th among NCAA assists leaders (6.11). The 2012 Big South freshman of the year has 165 dishes this year, 5th-all-time in CU single season records.
Radford is last among all Big South schools in field goal percentage (.405) and free throw accuracy (.639), but leads the league in steals (8.81), is 2nd in turnover margin (+2.0) and 4th in threes made per game (6.44).
Sophomore guard R.J. Price leads the Big South and ranks 16th in the country in 3s made per game (2.96).
Radford 2nd-year head coach Mike Jones faced the Camels during his playing days at Howard University (1983-87). Jones is the son of former ABA standout guard Jimmy Jones, who also played with the NBA Washington Bullets in a pro career that spanned 1967-77.
Campbell has lost 10 times in its 13 previous trips to the Dedmon Center, but the Camels won at Radford last season, 73-65. CU's other victories at Radford came in 1993 (89-84) and 1987 (80-77).
Campbell is 5-0 all-time against Radford in games played at Buies Creek, 1-0 at Gore Arena and 4-0 at Carter Gym.
In the only meeting between the teams last year, Lorne Merthie scored 21 points and Eric Griffin added a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead short-handed Campbell to a 73-65 win at the Dedmon Center. Playing without injured point guard Trey Freeman, Campbell shot 61 percent from the floor in the final period to overcome a 30-27 halftime deficit. Darren White added 13 points. Javonte Green led Radford with 16 points and R.J. Price added 14.