ACU, SHSU meet in conference play

Abilene Christian (10-7, 5-1) vs. Sam Houston State (13-6, 6-2)

Johnson Coliseum, Huntsville, Texas; Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Sam Houston State plays host to Abilene Christian in a Southland matchup. Both squads are coming off of easy victories on Saturday. Sam Houston State earned a 95-75 win on the road against Houston Baptist, while Abilene Christian emerged with a 76-55 blowout win at home against Southeastern Louisiana.

BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Sam Houston State’s Kai Mitchell has averaged 14.1 points and 6.8 rebounds while Zach Nutall has put up 14.2 points and 4.7 rebounds. For the Wildcats, Payten Ricks has averaged 13.5 points and 2.5 steals while Joe Pleasant has put up 11.2 points and 4.6 rebounds.

RAMPING IT UP: The Wildcats have scored 76.3 points per game and allowed 65.5 points per game across six conference games. Those are both noticeable improvements over the 65.1 points scored and 72.9 points allowed per game to non-conference opponents.POTENT PAYTEN: Ricks has connected on 34.1 percent of the 123 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 9 for 24 over the last three games. He’s also converted 86.9 percent of his foul shots this season.

SLIPPING AT 72: Abilene Christian is 0-5 when it allows at least 72 points and 10-2 when it holds opponents to less than 72.

UNBEATEN WHEN: The Bearkats are 7-0 when they hold opposing teams to 65 points or fewer and 6-6 when opponents exceed 65 points. The Wildcats are 9-0 when they hold opponents to a field goal percentage of 44.9 percent or worse, and 1-7 when opponents exceed that percentage.

STINGY DEFENSE: Abilene Christian has forced opponents into committing turnovers on 29.7 percent of all possessions this year, the second-highest rate among all Division I teams. The Wildcats have forced conference opponents into turnovers on 31.9 percent of all possessions.