Campbell is the fourth seed for the Big South Conference men’s basketball tournament and will face Liberty on Thursday at 9 p.m. in the quarterfinal round in Asheville.
Under the direction of fifth-year coach Kevin McGeehan, the Camels (16-14, 10-8 Big South) earned their highest seed in the league tournament in six years and posted their best conference victory total since the 2012 squad finished 11-7.
Regular season champion UNC Asheville will host the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds Thursday and Friday (March 1-2) at Kimmel Arena. The championship game is set for Sunday (March 4) at 1 p.m. at the highest remaining seed and will be televised by ESPN.
One year after advancing to the Big South title game from the seventh seed, Campbell finished behind UNC Asheville (20-11, 13-5), Radford (19-12, 12-6) and Winthrop (18-11, 12-6) in the standings. Liberty (18-13, 9-9) was the fifth seed and Gardner-Webb (14-17, 9-9) earned the sixth spot.
First round action begins tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 27) on campus sites when No. 7 seed High Point (14-15, 9-9) hosts No. 10 Longwood (6-25, 3-15) and eighth-seeded Charleston Southern (14-15, 9-9) entertains No. 9 seed Presbyterian (11-20, 4-14).
Radford earned the second seed based on RPI after no other advantage was determined in previous tie-breaking steps with defending champion Winthrop.
Campbell swept the season series from Liberty, claiming a 94-85 victory Jan. 23 at Lynchburg, Va., and posting a 79-69 win last Sunday (Feb. 18) at Buies Creek.
At Lynchburg, Chris Clemons and Marcus Burk combined for 74 points and 20 three-point field goals to lead the Camels to their first-ever win at the Vines Center. Clemons broke his own school record for points in a road game with 42, including 10-of-14 from 3-point distance, while Burk finished 10-of-16 from long range in a 32-point effort, one shy of his career high.
Clemons and Burk became the first teammates in Big South history to made 10 3-pointers each, while breaking the school mark for points in a game by teammates — 66 in last year’s CIT first round by Clemons (39) and Burk (27) vs. Houston Baptist. Campbell finished 23-of-33 (.697) from long distance — shattering the school record of 16 triples.
Last week in Buies Creek, Clemons scored 24 of his game-high 26 points in the second half at Gore Arena. Burk added 19 points, while Damontez Oliver came off the bench to chip in a career-high 12 for the Camels, who knocked down 15-of-27 threes. Campbell shot 63 percent in the second half — 53 percent overall — and committed a season-low five turnovers. The Camels took advantage of 11 Liberty miscues to grab a 20-2 edge in points off turnovers.
Clemons, the pre-season Big South player of the year and the county’s fourth-leading scorer (24.6), moved into sixth place on the conference’s all-time scoring list during Saturday’s 72-56 win over Presbyterian. The 5-foot-9 junior from Raleigh has tallied 2,124 points in 93 games and enters Thursday’s contest only 29 points behind Campbell’s all-time scoring leader Jonathan Rodriguez, who tallied 2,153 in his career from 2006 to 2010.
A sophomore guard, Burk stands 11th among Big South scoring leaders (15.2). He is fourth in field goal percentage (.500) and second behind Clemons (3.0) in 3-pointers made per game (2.8).
Junior center Andrew Eudy is third on the team in scoring (9.5), second in the league in blocked shots (1.9) and 12th in both rebounding (5.1) and assists (2.7).
2018 Big South Conference
Men’s Basketball Tournament
Tuesday, Feb. 27
Longwood 68, High Point 55
Charleston Southern 68, Presbyterian 51
Thursday, March 1
Kimmel Arena, UNC Asheville
Game 3: No. 2 Radford 59, No. 10 Longwood 53
Game 4: No. 3 Winthrop 72, No. 6 Gardner-Webb 68
Game 5: No. 1 UNC Asheville 71, No. 8 Charleston Southern 66
Game 6: No. 5 Liberty 73, No. 4 Campbell 59
Friday, March 2
Kimmel Arena, UNC Asheville
Game 7: Radford 61, Winthrop 52
Game 8: Liberty 69, UNC Asheville 64
Sunday, March 4
(at highest remaining seed)
Game 9: Liberty (20-13) at Radford (21-12), 1 p.m. (ESPN)
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)