NC Central, Coppin State meet in conference play

NC Central (10-12, 6-2) vs. Coppin State (7-17, 3-6)

Physical Education Complex, Baltimore; Saturday, 4 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Coppin State plays host to NC Central in a MEAC matchup. Both squads won this past Monday. Coppin State earned a 64-56 road win against Howard, while NC Central won 69-63 at home against Norfolk State.

BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: This will be a Maryland homecoming for NC Central senior C.J. Keyser, who is averaging 9.5 points. Jibri Blount, who has put up 19.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game, and Jordan Perkins, who has averaged 6.7 points and 4.8 assists, have helped Keyser with leadership duties this year. Coppin State has been led by Koby Thomas, who is averaging 12.7 points and 7.1 rebounds.

MEAC IMPROVEMENT: NC Central has scored 69.1 points per game and allowed 58.3 points per game across eight conference games. Those are both solid improvements over the 59.3 points scored and 74.7 points allowed per game to non-conference opponents.JUMPING FOR JIBRI: Blount has connected on 36.2 percent of the 47 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 4 for 7 over the last three games. He’s also converted 74 percent of his free throws this season.

WINLESS WHEN: NC Central is 0-9 when it allows 66 or more points and 10-3 when it holds opponents to anything under 66 points. Coppin State is 0-10 when they score 62 points or fewer and 7-7 when they exceed 62.

ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The NC Central offense has recently used assists to create baskets more often than Central. Coppin State has an assist on 40 of 77 field goals (51.9 percent) over its past three outings while NC Central has assists on 46 of 78 field goals (59 percent) during its past three games.

STINGY DEFENSE: NC Central has forced opponents into committing turnovers on 26 percent of all possessions this year, the sixth-highest rate among all Division I teams.