New Hampshire, NJIT meet in conference play

New Hampshire (8-7, 7-5) vs. NJIT (6-8, 5-7)

Wellness and Events Center, Newark, New Jersey; Saturday, 12 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: NJIT plays host to New Hampshire in an America East matchup. New Hampshire won 71-65 in overtime at Binghamton on Sunday. NJIT lost 75-71 loss at home to Maryland-Baltimore County on Tuesday.

LEADING THE CHARGE: The versatile Zach Cooks has averaged 14.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and two steals to lead the way for the Highlanders. Dylan O’Hearn is also a big contributor, maintaining an average of 12.1 points per game. The Wildcats are led by Nick Guadarrama, who is averaging 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds.

DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Wildcats have given up only 64.9 points per game across 12 conference games, an improvement from the 78.5 per game they allowed in non-conference play.GIFTED GUADARRAMA: Guadarrama has connected on 35.3 percent of the 51 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 7 of 25 over the last five games. He’s also converted 85.2 percent of his free throws this season.

PASSING FOR POINTS: The Highlanders have recently gotten buckets via assists more often than the Wildcats. NJIT has an assist on 29 of 68 field goals (42.6 percent) over its previous three outings while New Hampshire has assists on 24 of 65 field goals (36.9 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: Both New Hampshire and NJIT are ranked at the top of the America East when it comes to ball security. The Wildcats are ranked second in the conference and have committed a turnover on 17.4 percent of their possessions this year, 11.9 turnovers per game. The Highlanders are ranked first with a turnover percentage of 15.8 percent, 10.9 per game.

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