February 8, 2013

Lady Camels Battle at Winthrop on Saturday

Game Notes | @GoCamelsWBB

ROCK HILL, S.C. – The Campbell women's basketball team finishes up a two-game road swing on Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. tip at Winthrop. The Lady Camels have gained some momentum after securing victories over Longwood, 62-51, and Radford, 66-52, over the last week.

In the Big South standings, Campbell has moved up to fifth place at 7-5 and is just one game back of Presbyterian (8-4) for third. The contest at Winthrop concludes a stretch were the Lady Camels have matched up against the first- or second-place team in the league in seven of the last 11 games.

Fans can follow the Lady Camels contest at Winthrop with access to live stats and video and audio on the Big South Sports Network through links on the schedule page. In-game updates can be found on Twitter, @GoCamelsWBB.

Defensive intensity was key to the road win at Radford as the Lady Camels held the Highlanders to just 21 points in the first half. Campbell's pressure forced 23 turnovers, eclipsing the 20-turnover number in each of the last four games

Transition points are an import aspect for the Lady Camels, who converted 11 steals into 14 points on the fastbreak t Radford. Both teams were prosperous though in capitalizing on opportunities with each squad recoding 21 points off turnovers.

"I thought our chemistry was good during stretches," said head coach Wanda Watkins following the Radford game. "We came out right in the beginning of the second half and found a good flow in our offense. With the strong defense that we were playing with, it provided a nice combination for us to score some quick points."

Sophomore forward Juli Osborne (Kingsport, Tenn.) helped spark the rally by scoring six of her eight second-half points in a 17-2 run at the beginning of the frame. Adding 13 of 31 bench points was junior forward Roslyn Presley (Petersburg, Va.), who scored the final four points in the first half.

"We talked about passion a lot over the past week with this team," said Watkins, referring to a comment made by Osborne after the game. "If you are passionate about something, then you have to act like it and throw your heart and soul into it. That is what these kids did tonight. I am really proud of their efforts."

The Lady Camels were paced by senior guard Tonisha Baker (High Point, N.C.) with 15 points. Sophomore forward Kiera Gaines (Mechanicsville, Va.) and Presley each contributed 13 points.

Campbell has a 19-7 edge in the all-time series against Winthrop. The Eagles have taken the last four matchups, which includes a 76-52 victory on Jan. 26. The Camels are 9-4 at home, while 9-2 on the road. From 1987 to 1994, Campbell posted 16 victories in a row.

Winthrop is riding an eight-game conference win streak with victories over High Point (78-61), UNC Asheville (65-59), Gardner-Webb (60-55), Charleston So. (85-65, 73-65), Presbyterian (78-50), Coastal Carolina (76-52), Campbell (76-53) and Presbyterian (77-42), while losses have come to Longwood (74-79) and Liberty (57-90). The Eagles have non-conference wins against Troy (87-82), Mississippi State (61-59), College of Charleston (63-61), St. Augustine's (83-74), N.C. Central (64-33) and William & Mary (81-70).

Leading the Eagles' offense is Big South Preseason Player of the Year Dequesha McClanahan with 18.3 points per game followed by Diana Choibekova with 13.7. Shaquilla Nunn has registered a team-high 10.7 rebounds per contest. The conference leader in assists is McClanahan with 140.

The Eagles averages 69.1 points per game, while posting a 39.4 percentage from the field. The Eagles have generated 42.5 rebounds per contest. Head coach Kevin Cook is in his first season leading the Winthrop program.

Campbell hosts Gardner-Webb on Thursday at 7 p.m. inside the John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center. The contest serves as the Lady Camels "Play for Kay" night to create breast cancer awareness with the local survivors being honored at halftime.