Shelton, N. Arizona host Idaho State
Idaho State (5-8, 2-2) vs. Northern Arizona (7-6, 1-3)
Walkup Skydome, Flagstaff, Arizona; Saturday, 6 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Two guards will be on display as Tarik Cool and Idaho State will face Cameron Shelton and Northern Arizona. The junior Cool has scored 21 percent of the team’s points this season and is averaging 11.8 over his last five games. Shelton, a sophomore, is averaging 12.6 points over the last five games.
PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE: Senior leadership could play a big role in this game’s outcome. Shelton, Brooks DeBisschop and Ted McCree have combined to account for 43 percent of Northern Arizona’s scoring this season. For Idaho State, Cool, Jared Stutzman and Chidi Udengwu have combined to score 44 percent of the team’s points this season, including 50 percent of all Bengals points over their last five.
CLAMPING DOWN: The Lumberjacks have given up only 67.5 points per game to Big Sky opponents thus far, an improvement from the 73.9 per game they gave up in non-conference play.TERRIFIC TARIK: Cool has connected on 36.2 percent of the 58 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 7 of 20 over the last five games. He’s also made 77.1 percent of his foul shots this season.
COLD SPELL: Idaho State has lost its last five road games, scoring 61.2 points, while allowing 74.4 per game.
ASSIST DISTRIBUTION: The Lumberjacks have recently created buckets via assists more often than the Bengals. Northern Arizona has 39 assists on 75 field goals (52 percent) over its past three outings while Idaho State has assists on 29 of 64 field goals (45.3 percent) during its past three games.
STIFLING DEFENSE: Northern Arizona has forced opponents into committing turnovers on 21.1 percent of all possessions, the second-highest rate among all Big Sky teams.