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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 5, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: HTC Center (3,600) -- Conway, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Presbyterian 7-6, Campbell 8-8. Away Record: Presbyterian 1-15, Campbell 4-9. Neutral Record: Presbyterian 0-2, Campbell 0-2. Conference Record: Presbyterian 4-12, Campbell 7-9. Series Record: Campbell leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Presbyterian Blue Hose take on the Campbell Fighting Camels at the HTC Center on Tuesday night in first-round action of the Big South Tournament.
The winner will advance to play Gardner-Webb in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Presbyterian, the sixth-seed in the South Division, endured a disappointing campaign at 8-23 overall and 4-12 in league action. The Blue Hose closed out the season with back-to-back road losses to Gardner-Webb and UNC Asheville, and they have not fared well away from their home floor, going a combined 1-17 in road and neutral-court matchups.
While far from impressive, Campbell's season was slightly better than Presbyterian at 12-19 overall with a 7-9 league ledger, which was enough to earn it a No. 3 seed in the North Division. The Camels are also coming into the tournament cold however, having dropped their last three games of the regular season.
Campbell defeated Presbyterian on the road back on Jan. 12, 62-46, in the only meeting between the squads this season. The Camels now have a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series.
Despite ranking third in the Big South in field goal percentage (.448), Presbyterian has the second-lowest scoring offense in the league, pouring in just 61.7 ppg. Its scoring defense doesn't do much to help out either (69.9 ppg), and it also ranks among the conference's worst in terms of rebounding margin (-4.6) and turnover margin (-2.5). The Blue Hose rely on Khalid Mutakabbir (15.5 ppg) and Jordan Downing (12.9 ppg) for most of their production, as the two have drilled a combined 124 3-pointers at a 40 percent clip. Joshua Clyburn brings stability to the frontcourt with 9.8 ppg (on 52.9 percent field goal shooting) and a team-high 5.8 rpg.
As for Campbell, its offensive production has been solid this season, as it scores more than 69 ppg, while near the top of the league rankings in both field-goal percentage (.446) and free-throw percentage (.711). Unfortunately for the Camels, their disappointing scoring defense (72.6 ppg) has prevented them from joining the conference's elite. Since losing top scorer Darren White (21.8 ppg) to a season-ending injury in January, Trey Freeman has acted as the team's top option, netting 14.1 ppg on greater than 51 percent 3-point shooting while also handing out a league-best 5.8 apg. Darian Hooker chips in with 10.4 ppg, while Marvelle Harris brings 7.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 1.1 bpg to the table.
While Campbell hasn't had an especially strong season, it has been able to tread water in the Big South, which is more than can be said for Presbyterian. The Camels made easy work of the Blue Hose earlier in the season. Expect much of the same in this matchup.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Campbell 68, Presbyterian 56
03/05 11:34:38 ET
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