Blount, NC Central host SC St.
South Carolina State (9-10, 4-3) vs. NC Central (8-12, 4-2)
McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium, Durham, North Carolina; Saturday, 4 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Two senior forwards will be on display as Damani Applewhite and South Carolina State will go up against Jibri Blount and NC Central. Applewhite is averaging 14.2 points over the last five games. Blount has scored 30 percent of the team’s points this season and is averaging 23.8 over his last five games.
STEPPING IT UP: The Eagles have scored 68.5 points per game and allowed 57.8 points per game against MEAC opponents. Those are both substantial improvements over the 63.5 points scored and 74.7 points given up per game to non-conference foes.JUMPING FOR JIBRI: Blount has connected on 35.7 percent of the 42 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 2 of 4 over his last three games. He’s also made 74.4 percent of his free throws this season.
SLIPPING AT 66: NC Central is 0-9 this year when it allows 66 points or more and 8-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 66.
BEHIND THE ARC: South Carolina State’s Tariq Simmons has attempted 39 3-pointers and has connected on 25.6 percent of them.
DID YOU KNOW: The NC Central defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 26.3 percent of all possessions, which is the seventh-highest rate in the country. South Carolina State has turned the ball over on 20.7 percent of its possessions (ranked 271st among Division I teams).