ACU looks to extend streak vs NW State
Abilene Christian (12-9, 7-3) vs. Northwestern State (8-12, 5-6)
Prather Coliseum, Natchitoches, Louisiana; Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Abilene Christian looks for its sixth straight win in the head-to-head series over Northwestern State. Abilene Christian has won by an average of 11 points in its last five wins over the Demons. Northwestern State’s last win in the series came on Feb. 1, 2014, an 84-66 win.
STEPPING UP: Northwestern State’s Chudier Bile has averaged 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds while Nikos Chougkaz has put up 9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds. For the Wildcats, Payten Ricks has averaged 13.6 points and 2.4 steals while Joe Pleasant has put up 11.3 points and 4.6 rebounds.
SOUTHLAND IMPROVEMENT: The Demons have scored 75.5 points per game and allowed 75.3 points per game against Southland opponents. Those are both significant improvements over the 65.1 points scored and 83.2 points allowed per game to non-conference opponents.POTENT PAYTEN: Ricks has connected on 36.1 percent of the 147 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 10 of 20 over the last three games. He’s also made 85.9 percent of his foul shots this season.
SIGNIFICANCE OF 66: Abilene Christian is 0-5 when its offense scores 66 points or fewer. Northwestern State is a perfect 5-0 when it holds opponents to 66 or fewer points.
COLD SPELL: Northwestern State has lost its last three home games, scoring an average of 71.3 points while giving up 77.3.
DID YOU KNOW: The Abilene Christian defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 29.1 percent of all possessions, which ranks the Wildcats second among Division I teams. Northwestern State has turned the ball over on 23.8 percent of its possessions (ranking the Demons 347th, nationally).