ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville men's basketball team ends its two-game road trip on Saturday when the Bulldogs face North Division leader Campbell at Gore Arena starting at 3:30 p.m.
Saturday's game will be broadcast locally on WPEK Radio (880-AM) with the pre-game show starting at 3 p.m. A video-stream of the game can be seen under the multimedia tag at www.uncabulldogs.com for a small fee.
Asheville (12-10, 6-2 BSC) hopes to extend a four-game winning streak on Saturday but it won't be easy against the Camels (10-12, 5-3 BSC). The Bulldogs are coming off a 77-74 road victory over Presbyterian College on Wednesday, while Campbell fell at Liberty Tuesday night, 89-72. The Camels have won seven of their last 10 games even with the loss at Liberty.
"Campbell is very athletic and presents a lot of problems for us," stated Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. "We had two close games with them last year and this one will be another barnburner. We've had always had a tough time winning in Buies Creek, and I'm sure we will have our work cut out for us on Saturday. They have some great wins this year and are always tough to beat at home."
Trey Freeman leads the Campbell attack with a 14.1 scoring average. Darian Hooker is averaging 10.7 points per game and knocked down 31 treys.
Asheville won both meetings last season but had to rally each time. The Bulldogs won in Buies Creek 89-82 after trailing by 17 points in the first half. Asheville downed Campbell 95-84 at Kimmel Arena after trailing at halftime.
The Bulldogs (6-2) are in second place in the South Division, one game behind Charleston Southern (7-1). The Bucs are idle on Saturday.
Senior forward Jeremy Atkinson continues to lead the Bulldogs. He scored 22 points on Wednesday at PC to raise his scoring average to 17.1 points per game. The Elm City native also leads the team in rebounding with a 7.6 mark. Sophomore guard Keith Hornsby is second in scoring with a 14.5 average. He leads the Big South and is second nationally in free throw shooting (65-of-69) at .942. Hornsby has hit 49 of his last 51 free throws.
Junior center D.J. Cunningham scored a season-high 18 points at PC and scored the winning basket with 12 seconds left. He enjoyed his second double-double of the year with 10 rebounds. Cunningham leads the Big South and is 13th nationally in blocked shots with a 2.9 per game average.
Asheville returns home Wednesday night to host Winthrop at Kimmel Arena starting at 7 p.m.
Campbell leads the all-time series 19-15. In Big South Conference games, the Camels have a 12-8 advantage. Asheville swept the season series last year for the first time ever in Big South play. The Bulldogs are just 3-10 all-time in Division I play in Buies Creek. Asheville is 1-1 in Gore Arena as the Dogs earned an 89-82 win a year ago.
UNC Asheville has been very tough to beat on the road in Big South Conference play over the last three years. Asheville is 16-6 in enemy territory and went 8-1 last season. The Bulldogs are 12-3 in their last 15 games against league opponents on the road. However, Asheville is just 2-2 on the road in league play this year with losses at Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern.
The Bulldogs were able to defeat Presbyterian College Wednesday 77-74. The Blue Hose shot .622 (28-of-45) from the field. It is the first time in the Division I era for Asheville that it won a game when allowing a team to shoot better than 60 percent from the field!!! PC became the first team to shoot better than 60 percent against the Dogs since the 2008-09 season when the Blue Hose shot 61 percent in a 76-61 win. Asheville had gone 122 games without allowing an opponent to shoot 60%.
Asheville is 31-4 in its last 35 games against Big South Conference opponents.
The Bulldogs have out-rebounded their last four opponents and are 12-1 this season when they out-rebound their opponent.
Three of Asheville's last four wins have been by three points. In each game, the opponent had a three-pointer to tie at the end of the game but missed.
The Bulldogs' December road wins over Northeastern and St. John's look better and better each day. Northeastern leads the Colonial Athletic Conference with an 8-1 league mark and have won nine of its last 11 games since Asheville defeated the Huskies, 79-73 on Dec. 18. St. John's is in third place in the Big East with 6-3 record. The Red Storm is 7-3 since losing 72-65 to the Bulldogs on Dec. 21.
Freshman forward Will Weeks leads the Big South in league games in field goal percentage at .672 (41-of-61). He was named Big South Freshman of the Week this past Monday and has earned the award twice in the last three weeks.
The Bulldogs are 11-4 in their last 15 games and have done a nice job shaking off a 1-6 start to the season.
Asheville has done a great job getting to the free throw line in its last four games. The Bulldogs are 69-of-99 from the charity stripe in those games, while their opponents are just 28-of-41.
The Bulldogs have won 20 consecutive games against teams from the North Division.