Alabama St. looks to sweep Grambling St.
Alabama State (11-16, 9-7) vs. Grambling State (14-15, 8-8)
Assembly Center, Grambling, Louisiana; Thursday, 8:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Alabama State goes for the season sweep over Grambling State after winning the previous matchup in Montgomery. The teams last faced each other on Jan. 5, when the Hornets outshot Grambling State from the field 42.9 percent to 32.1 percent and made six more 3-pointers en route to a 74-53 victory.
SQUAD LEADERS: Ivy Smith Jr. has averaged 13.6 points and five assists to lead the charge for the Tigers. Dallas Polk-Hilliard is also a key contributor, producing 13.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. The Hornets have been led by Reginald Gee, who is averaging 13.8 points and 4.4 rebounds.
FACILITATING THE OFFENSE: Smith has made or assisted on 43 percent of all Grambling State field goals over the last three games. The junior guard has accounted for 11 field goals and 18 assists in those games.
WINNING WHEN: The Tigers are 9-0 when they hold opposing teams to 63 points or fewer and 5-15 when opponents exceed 63 points. The Hornets are 7-0 when the team records at least nine steals and 4-16 when falling short of that total.
ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Tigers have recently converted buckets via assists more often than the Hornets. Grambling State has 40 assists on 68 field goals (58.8 percent) over its previous three matchups while Alabama State has assists on 28 of 63 field goals (44.4 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Grambling State is rated second in the SWAC with an average of 71.7 possessions per game. The uptempo Tigers have raised that total to 72.8 possessions per game over their last five games.