Camels face defending champion Asheville Thursday in Big South Quarters

Shane Whitfield
(ScarboroughPhotography.com)
Shane Whitfield (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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Campbell Game Notes (PDF)

ROCK HILL, S.C. – After dispatching Presbyterian in the first round, 7th-seeded Campbell (15-16) advances to face 2nd seed UNC Asheville (23-8) in Thursday's 1:00 p.m. Big South Conference Championship quarterfinal at the Winthrop Coliseum.  The winner will meet either 3rd seed Liberty or 6th-seeded Radford in Friday's 6:00 p.m. semifinal.

CU jumped to a 19-3 advantage, never trailed, and led by as many as 32 over the Blue Hose Tuesday at Buies Creek.  Chris Clemons led CU with 27 points, plus 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals, while Shane Whitfield added 13 points and Kyre' Hamer 10, plus 5 steals. The Camels shot 58 percent from the floor and held PC to just 37 percent shooting.

UNC Asheville shared the Big South regular season title (15-3) with Winthrop, but dropped to the 2nd seed based on a tie-breaker.  The Bulldogs have won 10 of their last 11 outings, including a 63-45 victory Saturday over Liberty.

Asheville swept the season series from the Camels, claiming a 72-65 decision Jan. 21 at home and a 66-53 win Feb. 18 at Buies Creek.  The Bulldogs shot 48.5 percent from the floor over those two games, while finishing with plus-5.5 turnover margin.  CU's starting guards Clemons and Hamer did not play in the Feb. 18 game due to injury.

Notes:

  • Campbell guard Chris Clemons was named to the Big South all-conference 1st team and to the Big South all-academic team.  The nation's 5th-leading scorer (23.2 ppg) has scored at least 20 points 22 times in 30 games this year, most in the Big South.  He has moved into 15th place on CU's all-time scoring list (1253), 8th in the Division I era (since '77-78) and has already broken the school sophomore class scoring mark (697) previously set by Jonathan Rodriguez (631).
  • Campbell and UNC Asheville have met only twice in Big South tournament play. CU defeated the Bulldogs 79-76 in the 1987 semifinals at Savannah, Ga.  Asheville won the 1989 title game over the Camels 93-78 at Rock Hill.
  • The Camels lead the Big South in free throw percentage (.745) and are on pace to break the school season record (.722).
  • Shane Whitfield leads the Big South in free throws made (157) and attempted (209).
  • UNC Asheville ranks 2nd in the country in turnover margin (+5.1), 6th in steals per game (9.5) and 10th in turnovers forced (16.7).
  • Asheville is ranked No.-23 in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major top-25, while fellow Big South co-champ Winthrop is No.-19.
  • The Bulldogs claimed four of the five Big South post-season individual awards. Nick McDevitt was named coach of the year, Ahmad Thomas defensive player of the year, MaCio Teague freshman of the year and Giacomo Zilli scholar-athlete of the year. 
  • Thursday's game marks the 43rd all-time between Campbell and UNC Asheville, dating to the 1967-68 season when both were members of the NAIA.  CU won 5 of the 8 meetings between the schools while the Camels were members of the Atlantic Sun Conference (1994-2011). 
  • Asheville is the only Big South team Campbell has not defeated (0-10) since rejoining the Big South Conference in 2011-12.
  • UNC Asheville won the 2016 Big South Championship at Campbell's Gore Arena.
  • First-team all-conference guard Ahmad Thomas leads the Big South in steals (3.03) and field goal percentage (.543), is 3rd in scoring (18.0) and 7th in Thomas (6.5). He scored a career-high 31 points in the regular season finale vs. Liberty.
  • MaCio Teague, who also earned 1st-team All-Big South recognition, ranks among Big South leaders in scoring (7th, 15.5), rebounding (19th, 4.6), FG% (5th, .471), FT% (2nd, .880), assists (8th, 2.8), steals (12th, 1.1), 3FG made (7th, 2.1) and minutes (4th, 34.2).