New Mexico State (6-6, 3-5) vs. Tarleton St. (7-9, 2-6)
Wisdom Gymnasium, Stephenville, Texas; Friday, 8 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Two guards will be on display as Jabari Rice and New Mexico State will battle Montre’ Gipson and Tarleton St.. The senior Rice is averaging 15.6 points over the last five games. Gipson, a junior, is averaging 12.6 points over the last five games.
LEADING THE WAY: Tarleton St.’s Gipson has averaged 14.5 points while Konstantin Dotsenko has put up 11.2 points. For the Aggies, Rice has averaged 14.7 points and 4.8 rebounds while Donnie Tillman has put up 10.9 points and 6.1 rebounds.
DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Texans have given up just 68.5 points per game across eight conference games, an improvement from the 78.7 per game they gave up in non-conference play.JUMPING FOR JABARI: Rice has connected on 37.5 percent of the 48 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 7 of 18 over his last three games. He’s also converted 78.4 percent of his free throws this season.
SLIPPING AT 64: Tarleton St. is 0-8 this year when it allows 64 points or more and 7-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 64.
STREAK SCORING: Tarleton St. has won its last three home games, scoring an average of 107.3 points while giving up 44.3.
TOUGH TEXANS: Tarleton St. has forced opponents into committing turnovers on 29.1 percent of all possessions this year, the second-highest rate among all Division I teams.
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