Northern Arizona (1-3) vs. Campbell (2-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 24, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Thomas & Mack Center (19,522) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television:None. Home Record: NAU 0-0, Campbell 2-1. Away Record: NAU 1-2, Campbell 0-2. Neutral Record: NAU 0-1, Campbell 0-1. Conference Record: NAU 0-0, Campbell 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks and the Campbell Fighting Camels will try to leave Las Vegas as winners when the two teams square off in the Global Sports Classic on Saturday.
Northern Arizona came up just short versus Jacksonville State on Friday, falling to the Gamecocks in a 50-48 final. Trailing by two with time winding down, Gabe Rodgers had his pass deflected which allowed time to run out on NAU's chances. The loss dropped the Lumberjacks to 1-3 this season, with their only win coming over UC Davis.They also lost at Oregon (83-73) and UNLV (92-54) to begin this event. This season's unfortunate results are nothing new, as NAU as lost 19 of its last 20 games coming into this one.
Campbell dropped its third straight decision on Friday to fall to 2-4. After losing on the road to Iowa State by 20 points and to Cincinnati by 19, the Camels were handed a 25-point beating by North Carolina A&T. The team's only win over a Division I opponent came on Nov. 16 when it whipped Appalachian State in a 101-82 final.
This will be the first meeting between these teams on the basketball court.
The Lumberjacks played very well at the defensive end of the floor in their recent loss to JSU. The Gamecocks managed to make only 15-of-46 field goal attempts, including just 2-of-10 from three-point range, and also turned the ball over 14 times. NAU shot 45.7 percent from the floor in the contest, but it was guilty of 20 turnovers which its opponent turned into 26 points. The Lumberjacks built momentum after the break and outscored JSU 29-19 in the final 20 minutes. Senior guard Gabe Rodgers continued to shine. After scoring 27 points on Sunday versus UC Davis, the senior guard netted 22 points after he converted 8-of-8 attempts at the charity stripe. However, as Rodgers caught fire, freshman sensation Dewayne Russell cooled off. The 5-foot-11 rookie point guard had scored 15, 16, and 25 points in his first three collegiate appearances, before being held to just 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting in Friday's setback.
Campbell had an off-night versus North Carolina A&T on Friday. It managed to make just 34 percent of its shots and made only 5-of-26 from beyond the arc in the loss. Meanwhile, the Aggies shot a blistering 60.8 percent from the floor in the game and knocked down eight 3-pointers in the win. Darren White came into the bout leading the Big South in scoring, but he was held to a season- low 12 points on 3-of-8 shooting from the field. The senior guard still maintains a 22.7 ppg scoring average on 49.5 percent shooting despite the poor outing. White is also grabbing 7.2 boards per contest. His backcourt partner, Trey Freeman, is an assist machine with 6.2 per game, and junior guard Darian Hooker is producing 13.5 ppg. The Camels are going to struggle inside as their tallest starter Marvelle Harris (6-foot-6) is undersized.
The Lumberjacks need to get more production out of their role players to take pressure off Rodgers, who is not shooting a tremendously high percentage. The head-to-head matchup between Rodgers and White could dictate the winner as both sides in this one are rather top heavy.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Arizona 65, Campbell 61
11/24 10:37:18 ET