No. 3 seed New Mexico State (11-7, 8-6) vs. No. 2 seed Utah Valley (11-10, 9-4)
Western Athletic Conference Tourney Semifinals, Orleans Arena, Paradise, Nevada; Friday, 11 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: New Mexico State is ready to take on Utah Valley with the winner earning its place in the WAC championship game. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last faced each other on Feb. 20, when Utah Valley made only seven free throws on 13 attempts while the Aggies hit 21 of 25 en route to a seven-point victory.
LEADING THE WAY: Utah Valley’s Fardaws Aimaq has averaged 14.5 points and 15.1 rebounds while Trey Woodbury has put up 14.7 points and four rebounds. For the Aggies, Jabari Rice has averaged 13.3 points and 5.6 rebounds while Johnny McCants has put up 10.3 points and 6.2 rebounds.JUMPING FOR JABARI: Rice has connected on 35.7 percent of the 84 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 7 for 17 over the last three games. He’s also made 80 percent of his free throws this season.
UNDEFEATED WHEN: The Wolverines are 5-0 when they hold opposing teams to 66 points or fewer and 6-10 when opponents exceed 66 points. The Aggies are 6-0 when they make 10 or more 3-pointers and 5-7 when the team hits fewer than 10 from long range.
ASSIST RATIOS: The Aggies have recently gotten baskets via assists more often than the Wolverines. Utah Valley has 36 assists on 71 field goals (50.7 percent) over its previous three games while New Mexico State has assists on 44 of 78 field goals (56.4 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Utah Valley has attempted the seventh-most free throws in all of Division I. The Wolverines have averaged 23.6 free throws per game.
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