Alabama St., Texas Southern meet in SWAC semis
No. 6 seed Alabama State (12-18, 10-9) vs. No. 2 seed Texas Southern (20-12, 15-4)
Southwestern Athletic Conference Tourney Semifinals, Bill Harris Arena, Birmingham, Alabama; Friday, 8:30 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: A spot in the SWAC championship game is up for grabs as Alabama State and Texas Southern are set to square off. Texas Southern swept the two-game regular season series. The teams last faced each other on March 2, when the Tigers shot 52.8 percent from the field while limiting Alabama State to just 38.1 percent en route to a 78-68 victory.
TEAM LEADERSHIP: Jeremy Combs is putting up 16.7 points and 8.8 rebounds to lead the way for the Tigers. Trayvon Reed is also a primary contributor, putting up 12.8 points and eight rebounds per game. The Hornets are led by Reginald Gee, who is averaging 13.5 points and 4.3 rebounds.
GIFTED GEE: Gee has connected on 40.5 percent of the 121 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 2 of 10 over his last three games. He’s also made 74.4 percent of his foul shots this season.
THREAT BEHIND THE ARC: Alabama State’s Jacoby Ross has attempted 201 3-pointers and connected on 33.3 percent of them, and is 6 of 27 over his last five games.
ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Tigers have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Hornets. Texas Southern has 63 assists on 89 field goals (70.8 percent) across its past three games while Alabama State has assists on 23 of 64 field goals (35.9 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Texas Southern has attempted the fourth-most free throws in all of Division I. The Tigers have averaged 25.8 free throws per game, including 28.9 per game against conference opponents.