S. Alabama, Texas State meet in Sun Belt semis
South Alabama (17-16, 10-10) vs. No. 4 seed Texas State (23-8, 12-6)
Sun Belt Conference Tourney Semifinals, Lakefront Arena, New Orleans; Friday, 5 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Texas State is set to take on South Alabama with a spot in the Sun Belt championship game on the line. The only regular season meeting came on March 2, when the Jaguars outshot Texas State from the field 62.8 percent to 44.6 percent and hit five more 3-pointers en route to the 14-point victory.
PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE: Senior leadership could play a big role in this game’s outcome. Tre’Larenz Nottingham, Alex Peacock, Jaylen Shead and Eric Terry have collectively accounted for 51 percent of Texas State’s scoring this season. For South Alabama, Josh Ajayi, Trhae Mitchell, Rodrick Sikes and Kory Holden have combined to account for 68 percent of all South Alabama scoring, including 93 percent of the team’s points over its last five games.
NIFTY NIJAL: Nijal Pearson has connected on 39.7 percent of the 199 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 5 of 17 over the last three games. He’s also made 67.6 percent of his free throws this season.
WINLESS WHEN: South Alabama is 0-8 when scoring fewer than 65 points and 17-8 when scoring at least 65.
PERFECT WHEN: The Bobcats are 20-0 when holding opponents to 43.6 percent or worse from the field, and 3-8 when opponents shoot better than that. The Jaguars are 8-0 when they hold opponents to 63 points or fewer and 9-16 when opponents exceed 63 points.
DID YOU KNOW: Texas State is rated second among Sun Belt teams with an offensive rebound percentage of 33.3 percent. The Bobcats have averaged 11.8 offensive boards per game.