Utah Valley (7-8, 5-2) vs. New Mexico State (5-5, 2-4)
Eastwood High School Gym, El Paso, Texas; Friday, 9 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: WAC foes meet as Utah Valley squares off against New Mexico State. Utah Valley fell 93-89 at home to Dixie St. in its last outing. New Mexico State is coming off a 65-58 win on the road over Seattle in its most recent game.
LEADING THE WAY: Fardaws Aimaq is averaging 15.7 points and 15.5 rebounds to lead the charge for the Wolverines. Trey Woodbury is also a key facilitator, accounting for 16.7 points, four rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. The Aggies have been led by Jabari Rice, who is averaging 14.4 points and 4.8 rebounds.
WAC IMPROVEMENT: The Wolverines have scored 80.3 points per game and allowed 73.4 points per game against WAC opponents. Those are both significant improvements over the 71 points scored and 82.8 points given up per game to non-conference opponents.JUMPING FOR JABARI: Rice has connected on 41.7 percent of the 36 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 8 of 16 over the last three games. He’s also made 80 percent of his foul shots this season.
WINLESS WHEN: Utah Valley is 0-5 when scoring fewer than 71 points and 7-3 when scoring at least 71.
ASSIST RATIOS: The Wolverines have recently converted buckets via assists more often than the Aggies. New Mexico State has 43 assists on 82 field goals (52.4 percent) across its previous three games while Utah Valley has assists on 61 of 86 field goals (70.9 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Utah Valley has attempted the sixth-most free throws in all of Division I. The Wolverines have averaged 24.3 free throws per game, including 28.1 per game against conference opponents.
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