NDSU looks to extend streak vs W. Illinois
Western Illinois (4-7, 1-0) vs. North Dakota State (9-5, 1-0)
Scheels Center, Fargo, North Dakota; Thursday, 9 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: North Dakota State looks for its sixth straight conference win against Western Illinois. North Dakota State’s last Summit League loss came against the South Dakota Coyotes 75-65 on Feb. 28, 2019. Western Illinois won 82-75 at home against South Dakota in its last outing.
STEPPING UP: The Leathernecks are led by Kobe Webster and Zion Young. Webster is averaging 16.2 points and four assists while Young is putting up 14.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. The Bison have been led by seniors Tyson Ward and Vinnie Shahid. Ward has averaged 13.9 points and 7.5 rebounds while Shahid has put up 15.4 points per game.
KEY CONTRIBUTOR: Webster has either made or assisted on 43 percent of all Western Illinois field goals over the last three games. Webster has accounted for 21 field goals and 13 assists in those games.
ASSIST RATIOS: The Bison have recently gotten buckets via assists more often than the Leathernecks. North Dakota State has an assist on 39 of 76 field goals (51.3 percent) over its past three contests while Western Illinois has assists on 39 of 80 field goals (48.8 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The Western Illinois offense has recorded a turnover on only 15 percent of its possessions, which is the fourth-best rate in the nation. The North Dakota State defense has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on just 16.7 percent of all possessions (ranked 331st among Division I teams).