Jackson St. faces Texas Southern in SWAC semis
Texas Southern (14-8, 11-3) vs. No. 2 seed Jackson State (12-5, 12-0)
Southwestern Athletic Conference Tourney Semifinals, Bartow Arena, Birmingham, Alabama; Friday, 3 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: A ticket to the SWAC championship game is about to be punched as Texas Southern and Jackson State are set to do battle. Jackson State earned a 74-62 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday, while Texas Southern won easily 78-55 against Alcorn State on Thursday.
VETERAN PRESENCE: Each of these teams has relied heavily on their seniors this year. Tristan Jarrett, Jonas James, Isaiah Williams and Cainan McClelland have collectively accounted for 61 percent of Jackson State’s scoring this season. For Texas Southern, Michael Weathers, John Walker III, Galen Alexander and Justin Hopkins have collectively accounted for 59 percent of all Texas Southern scoring.
CREATING OFFENSE: Weathers has made or assisted on 43 percent of all Texas Southern field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has accounted for 20 field goals and 14 assists in those games.
UNDEFEATED WHEN: Jackson State is a sterling 12-0 when its defense holds opponents to a field goal percentage of 43.4 percent or less. The Tigers are 0-5 when allowing opponents to shoot any better than that.
ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Jackson State offense has recently used assists to create baskets more often than Texas Southern. Jackson State has an assist on 36 of 71 field goals (50.7 percent) over its past three games while Texas Southern has assists on 34 of 79 field goals (43 percent) during its past three games.
TENACIOUS TIGERS: Jackson State has held opposing teams to 61.6 points per game this season, the ninth-lowest figure among all Division I teams. The Tigers have allowed just 54.8 points per game over their 12-game winning streak.