Campbell (17-11) at Northwestern State (14-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Prather Coliseum (3,400) -- Natchitoches, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: Campbell 11-2, Northwestern St. 9-2. Away Record: Campbell 6-9, Northwestern St. 5-9. Neutral Record: Campbell 0-0, Northwestern St. 0-1. Conference Record: Campbell 11-5, Northwestern St. 7-5. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: Non-conference action is on tap in Natchitoches this afternoon, as the Northwestern State Demons play host to the Campbell Fighting Camels in a BracketBuster affair at Prather Coliseum.
The Fighting Camels are 17-11 on the season and an impressive 11-5 in Big South play. Campbell has won two straight and three of its last four games and enters this contest off a 67-58 victory over Winthrop on February 9th.
The Demons are 14-12 on the season, but have faltered of late, suffering three consecutive losses, including Monday's 70-61 setback to McNeese State. The loss dropped Northwestern State to a dismal 4-8 in Southland Conference action.
These two teams have met two previous times in Campbell's first two seasons at the Division I level (1977-78 and 1978-79), with each team winning once.
A 20-4 run late in the second half proved to be the difference, as Campbell went on to post a nine-point win over Winthrop. Lorne Merthie led the way with 14 points. Fellow senior Eric Griffin added 11 points, while freshman Trey Freeman and junior Darren White chipped in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
A potent offensive team, Campbell is averaging a healthy 76.0 ppg, getting it done on just over 50 percent shooting (.502). The Fighting Camels utilize a three-pronged attack led by White, who is averaging 17.0 ppg on .533 shooting, including .400 from behind the arc. The 6-8 Griffin is a strong frontcourt presence, draining 62.8 percent from the floor (tops in the Big South) and averaging 16.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game (also leads the league). Freeman is one of the Big South's top newcomers, leading all freshmen with 14.7 ppg.
Northwestern State isn't quite as strong offensively, averaging modest numbers of 70.7 ppg on .423 shooting. The team also has three primary scorers, led by Shamir Davis, who paces the team in scoring (13.3 ppg) and assists (3.1 apg). Big man William Mosley is the perfect complement and is a dominant low post player. The 6-7 center is converting nearly 60 percent from the field, averaging a near double-double with 10.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. He is also one of the nation's premier shot-blockers, ranking second in the country with 4.4 blocks per game. Louis Ellis rounds out the top scoring threats at 10.7 ppg and leads the team with 48 three-pointers.
In the nine-point setback to McNeese State, the Demons struggled to find their range, shooting just .333 from the floor, weighed down by a .250 effort from behind the arc (5-of-20). Davis and Ellis led the way with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Mosley netted eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots in the loss.
The Demons have been solid at home this year (9-2), but Campbell has the better weapons. The matchup between Griffin and Mosley should be fun to watch. Campbell has the better supporting cast and the Camels should exit this one with a victory in hand.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Campbell 66, Northwestern State 61
02/18 10:44:22 ET