First-place Camels head to Coastal Carolina tonight

Jan. 26, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

Campbell (10-10, 5-1) hits the road again in Big South Conference play with a 7 p.m. tip-off Saturday at Coastal Carolina (8-9, 3-3).

The Camels earned their seventh win in the last eight games Wednesday with a 69-60 victory over Radford at Gore Arena.

The Camels moved into sole possession of first place in the Big South North Division, one game ahead of VMI and High Point. CU is 3-0 against South Division teams this year with wins over Gardner-Webb, Presbyterian and Winthrop.

On Saturday, Campbell will get its first look at The HTC Center, Coastal Carolina’s new 3,212-seat arena, which will host the 2013 Big South Championship.

Coastal Carolina is coming off a 63-60 setback Wednesday at UNC Asheville. The Big South’s second-leading scorer, Anthony Raffa, topped then Chanticleers with 27 points.

Campbell owns a 21-14 edge in the all-time series with Coastal Carolina, which began in 1975 when both schools were members of the NAIA.

Campbell swept the season series with the Chants last year, marking the first time that Coastal had lost two regular season games to a Big South foe since the 2008-09 campaign.

Last year at Buies Creek, Trey Freeman scored 20 points and Campbell held Coastal Carolina without a field goal in overtime in a 70-65 win. Anthony Raffa scored 18 to lead Coastal, which shot 64 percent in the second half, but missed all seven shots in overtime.

Last year at Conway, Campbell rode a late 17-8 run to an 81-75 win. Eric Griffin scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as CU provided Robbie Laing with his 100th coaching win.

Chanticleer head coach Cliff Ellis is in his sixth year at Coastal and 36th on the collegiate level. Laing, in his 10th year as the Fighting Camel head coach, served as an assistant for Ellis at Clemson (1993-94) and Auburn (1994-96).

In Campbell's 7-1 stretch in the last eight games, the Camels are shooting 48.6 percent from the field while holding foes to 39.8 percent shooting. The Camels have won the battle of the boards in seven of the eight games.

During the eight-game span, Freeman is averaging 16.6 points and shooting 86.7 percent at the foul line. Darius Leonard is averaging 10.0 points per game and shooting 57.1 percent from the field. Marvelle Harris is averaging 8.9 points and 7.1 rebounds a game.

Coastal Carolina is 7-2 at home this year and 2-0 versus the Big South. The Chants claimed a 74-70 overtime victory over Akron in the first game at The HTC Center on Nov. 9 and downed Clemson 69-46 on Dec. 19 in Conway.