Women's basketball closes out non-conference slate Thursday vs. Columbia College

Breanna Foster
(ScarboroughPhotography.com)
Breanna Foster (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- Following an eight day break for the Christmas holiday, the Campbell women's basketball team will return to action Thursday night when it closes out its non-conference schedule at home against Columbia College at 7 p.m.

Admission to the game will be free and fans are encouraged to bring canned food items to be donated to the Harnett County Food Pantry. Doors open at 6 p.m. Fans not in attendance can watch the game live on the Big South Network with Bill Priestly on the call. Live stats can be found at gocamels.com.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

LAST TIME OUT: Campbell (7-3) traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico last week and won the Puerto Rico Clasico with victories over Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Morgan State. Summer Price scored 15 points in both wins while MaKala Rouse averaged 9.5 points and 10.5 rebounds between both contests including a team-best 16 boards vs. UAPB.

BUILDING MOMENTUM: CU is looking to finish out its non-conference slate at 8-3 with a win tonight. That tally would match CU's 2012-13 non-conference record in which the Camels finished the season 20-11 overall.

HEAD COACH RONNY FISHER: The Camels are in the first season under new head coach Ronny Fisher. Fisher is coming off eight seasons at Presbyterian College, where he turned a brand new Division I program into a Big South contender in a short amount of time. He recently recorded his 100th victory on the sidelines and has the Camels four games over .500. He coached a program-record four all-conference selections last year at PC.

THE COUNTRY'S TOP DEFENSE: Campbell has had the top scoring defense in all of NCAA DI for the past three weeks as their opponent's scoring tally has fallen to 47.1 points per game. The Camels have held six opponents under 50 points this year including a season-low 30 by N.C. Central. Coach Fisher's 2013-14 team at PC finished the year ranked second nationally in scoring defense (53.5 PPG), surpassed only by national champions UConn.

LIMITING THE TREY: CU is holding opponents to a conference-low .252 shooting percentage from beyond the arc and that tally stands 11th nationally. Its overall FG percentage defense of .331 also ranks 11th nationally.

PLAYING NICE: Campbell has the fourth-fewest fouls in the nation with 127. That's a league-low 13.7 per game.

LEADING THE CHARGE: Junior guards Price and Rouse are the leaders of the Camel offense. Price is averaging a team-high 12.5 points per game and is one of 13 double-figure scorers in the Big South. She has scored in double figures in seven of the last nine games, which includes a team-high 23 points versus VCU. Rouse has hit career-high point totals three times this season to bring her season scoring average up to 9.4 points per game. She also leads the Camels in assists, blocks and steals while ranking third in rebounding.

STEALING THE SHOW: Rouse currently sits second the Big South in steals with 2.75 per game and 24 overall.

SPREADING THE LOVE: Campbell ranks third in the Big South in total assists with 121 and has assisted on 54 percent of its baskets. The Camels' 0.72 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in the conference.

ALL-TIME SERIES: CU will be playing Columbia for just the second time in program history after defeating the Koalas 84-54 at Gore Arena during the 2012-13 campaign.

SCOUTING THE KOALAS: Columbia, a NAIA institution, is coming in off a 19-day layoff and a four-game losing skid. Amber Sherrill and Briana Johnson lead the Koalas with 14.3 and 13.0 points per game respectively. Columbia (2-8) has struggled defensively this season giving up 74.4 ppg and is averaging 20.8 turnovers per contest.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Camels will open Big South Conference play on Tuesday, January 3 at preseason favorites UNC Asheville.