Women's basketball opens Big South play Tuesday at UNC Asheville

Ronny Fisher  (ScarboroughPhotography.com)
Ronny Fisher (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- The Campbell women's basketball team will put its five-game winning streak on the line Tuesday night when it opens the Big South Conference portion of its 2016-17 schedule on the road at preseason favorites UNC Asheville. Tipoff from Kimmel Arena is set for 7 p.m.

The matchup features the league's best scoring offense (UNCA) against the best scoring defense (CU). Live coverage of the game can be found on the Big South Network. Live stats can be found at gocamels.com and in-game updates will be provided on the Camels' Twitter page, @GoCamelsWBB.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

LAST TIME OUT: Campbell (8-3, 0-0 BSC) won its non-conference finale Thursday night by a 73-32 margin over Columbia College. A balanced Camel offense was on display as all 12 active players finished in the scoring column led by a game-high 11 points from MaKala Rouse. The Camels held the Koalas to a program-low two points in the second period and they were was the fifth opponent that CU has held under 40 points this season.

BUILDING MOMENTUM: CU's 8-3 non-conference record tied for the best among league foes. That tally was the best mark since the 2012-13 season in which the Camels finished the year 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 five 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 four weeks as their opponent's scoring tally has fallen to 45.7 points per game. The Camels have held seven 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: The Camels are holding opponents to a conference-low .252 shooting percentage from beyond the arc and that tally stands 10th nationally. Their overall FG percentage defense of .329 ranks eighth nationally.

PLAYING NICE: Campbell has the third-fewest fouls in the nation with 154. That's a league-low 14.0 per game.

LEADING THE CHARGE: Junior guards Summer 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 15 double-figure scorers in the Big South. She has scored in double figures in seven of the last 10 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 9.5 points per game. Defensively she leads the Camels in blocks and steals while ranking third in rebounding.

STEALING THE SHOW: Rouse currently sits second the Big South in steals with 2.36 per game and 26 overall.

FORCING TURNOVERS: Campbell ranks second in the BSC in forced turnovers with 19.0 per game. On the other side of the ball, CU's turnover margin of 2.27 is also second & its 184 total turnovers is the 57th fewest nationally.

ALL TIME SERIES: Tuesday night's game will be the 45th all-time meeting between the Camels and Bulldogs, the second-longest rivalry in Campbell history. CU has a large 36-9 lead in the all-time series and own wins in nine of the last 11 matchups. However, UNCA won two of three meetings last year including the Big South Championship Quarterfinals en route to winning the title. The Camels were only one of two teams to beat the Bulldogs at home last season.

SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: UNC Asheville (6-5) enters the game 4-0 this season on its home court and leads the league in scoring with 67.4 points per game. The Bulldogs are also shooting a league-best .421 from the field. UNCA has the fifth-fewest turnovers in the country (141) but stand just eighth in the league in forced turnovers (15.9 pg.). Tianna Knuckles leads the Bulldogs in scoring with 12.7 points per game and that tally stands sixth in the Big South. She also leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.328) and her 2.0 three pointers per game stands second. KJ Weaver leads UNCA on the boards with 7.1 rebounds per game and is averaging a conference-best 1.55 blocks per game.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Camels will host Charleston Southern for its Big South home opener at Gore Arena on Saturday, Jan. 7.