Hammond, USC Upstate visit Gardner-Webb
South Carolina Upstate (7-9, 2-1) vs. Gardner-Webb (5-11, 1-3)
Paul Porter Arena, Boiling Springs, North Carolina; Saturday, 4:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Two sophomore guards will be on display as Everette Hammond and South Carolina Upstate will face Jose Perez and Gardner-Webb. Hammond has scored 21 percent of the team’s points this season and is averaging 17.2 over his last five games. Perez is averaging 16.8 points over the last five games.
SENIOR STUDS: Gardner-Webb’s Perez, Eric Jamison Jr. and Jaheam Cornwall have collectively accounted for 58 percent of the team’s scoring this season, including 55 percent of all Runnin’ Bulldogs points over the last five games.
BIG SOUTH IMPROVEMENT: The Runnin’ Bulldogs have scored 72 points per game across four conference games, an improvement from the 63.6 per game they managed in non-conference play.
CREATING OFFENSE: Perez has had his hand in 41 percent of all Gardner-Webb field goals over the last three games. The sophomore guard has 16 field goals and 14 assists in those games.
WINLESS WHEN: The Spartans are 0-8 when they score 72 points or fewer and 7-1 when they exceed 72 points. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are 0-8 when allowing 71 or more points and 5-3 when holding opponents below 71.
PASSING FOR POINTS: The Runnin’ Bulldogs have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Spartans. Gardner-Webb has 44 assists on 74 field goals (59.5 percent) across its previous three outings while South Carolina Upstate has assists on 35 of 80 field goals (43.8 percent) during its past three games.
TOUGH DEFENSE: Gardner-Webb has held opposing teams to only 41.9 percent shooting, the lowest percentage among all Big South teams. Over their last five games, the Runnin’ Bulldogs have held opposing shooters to 41.7 percent.