La.-Lafeyette, Ga. Southern meet in Sun Belt quarters
Louisiana-Lafayette (14-18, 9-12) vs. No. 5 seed Georgia Southern (18-13, 12-8)
Sun Belt Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, W.S. Hanner Fieldhouse, Statesboro, Georgia; Monday, 6 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: A spot in the Sun Belt semifinals is on the line as Louisiana-Lafayette and Georgia Southern prepare to meet. In the regular season, Georgia Southern won both of the head-to-head matchups. The teams last faced each other on Feb. 8, when the Eagles outshot Louisiana-Lafayette 58.2 percent to 48.3 percent and recorded five fewer turnovers en route to the 86-79 victory.
SQUAD LEADERSHIP: The Ragin’ Cajuns are led by Jalen Johnson and Mylik Wilson. Johnson has averaged 15.3 points and 6.7 rebounds while Wilson has put up 11.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. The Eagles have been led by seniors Ike Smith and Isaiah Crawley. Smith has averaged 14.2 points and 5.6 rebounds while Crawley has put up 13.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.JUMPING FOR JALEN: Johnson has connected on 27.9 percent of the 154 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 5 of 16 over his last three games. He’s also converted 82.6 percent of his free throws this season.
WINLESS WHEN: Louisiana-Lafayette is 0-9 when scoring fewer than 65 points and 14-9 when scoring at least 65.
WINNING WHEN: Georgia Southern is a perfect 5-0 when the team records 11 or more steals. The Eagles are 13-13 when they steal the ball fewer than 11 times.
TOUGH DEFENSE: Georgia Southern has forced opponents into committing turnovers on 22 percent of all possessions, the highest rate among all Sun Belt teams.