Savannah State (16-10) at Campbell (12-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gore Arena/Pope Center (3,200) -- Buies Creek, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Savannah St. 10-3, Campbell 8-6. Away Record: Savannah St. 6-7, Campbell 4-8. Neutral Record: Savannah St. 0-0, Campbell 0-2. Conference Record: Savannah St. 10-2, Campbell 7-7. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the Savannah State Tigers and Campbell Fighting Camels takes place at Gore Arena this Saturday as part of the annual BrackeBuster event.
Savannah State comes into this late non-league clash sporting a 16-10 overall record, and the team has performed exceptionally well in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play, logging a 10-2 mark. Despite their success against conference foes, the Tigers are currently in third place behind 11-1 NC Central and 12-0 Norfolk State. SSU has won four straight games and an astounding 11 of its last 12. However, the Tigers are just 6-7 in true road games.
Campbell comes in with a disappointing 12-16 overall mark, but the team's 7-7 record in Big South Conference play has it in second place in the league's North Division. The Fighting Camels are in the midst of a modest two-game win streak, their latest victory coming in a 72-66 overtime decision at Radford on Tuesday. Campbell is 8-6 at home this season, and the team stopped a three- game home losing streak with an 87-78 verdict over VMI last Saturday.
Savannah State is one of the worst offensive teams in the MEAC, as it averages just 55.5 ppg. Fortunately for the Tigers, they are the league's best defensive team, as foes score a miniscule 54.4 ppg -- that figure ranking as the fifth-lowest yield in the nation. SSU has just two double-digit scorers on which to rely most nights, and Rashad Hassan's 12.7 ppg and Preston Blackman's 11.7 ppg aren't going to scare many opponents. Arnold Louis was the only Tiger to reach double figures in a 56-49 win over North Carolina A&T, as he went 4- of-5 from the field and 9-of-12 at the foul line to tally 18 points. He made it a double-double performance by hauling in a dozen rebounds. Savannah State converted just 38.9 percent of its total shots, missing 12 of its 17 3-point attempts along the way, and it was guilty of a whopping 27 turnovers. It was a good thing NC A&T was almost as careless (21 turnovers), and the Aggies were held to a dismal 27.7 percent shooting effort.
Campbell too has only a pair of double-digit scorers on the roster, as Trey Freeman (14.2 ppg) and Darian Hooker (10.7 ppg) do their best to help the team achieve its goals on a nightly basis. The Fighting Camels are putting up just shy of 70 ppg, but they're being torched for 72.9 ppg. The team is nearly even in terms of turnover margin (+0.4), but comes up short in the rebounding battle (-2.6). Freeman scored 21 points, Andrew Ryan hit for 20, and Reco McCarter added 14, all of which were needed to push the Camels past Radford earlier this week. Campbell didn't shoot the ball well from the field in general (.415), but did manage a highly-efficient 46.7 percent (7-of-15) showing from beyond the arc. The Camels defended the 3-point shot extremely well (.214), and they goaded the Highlanders into 20 turnovers.
Campbell will surely put forth maximum effort in this clash against visiting Savannah State, but in the end, the Tigers get the edge as they continue their winning ways.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Savannah State 65, Campbell 58
02/23 10:31:56 ET