UMKC meets Utah Valley in WAC quarters
No. 7 seed UMKC (11-20, 6-10) vs. No. 2 seed Utah Valley (23-8, 12-4)
Western Athletic Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas; Thursday, 8 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: A spot in the WAC semifinals is on the line as UMKC and Utah Valley match up. Utah Valley won both of the regular season matchups earlier this season. The teams last met on Feb. 23, when the Wolverines shot 50 percent from the field while holding UMKC to just 43.3 percent en route to the 12-point victory.
STEPPING UP: Utah Valley’s Jake Toolson has averaged 16.3 points and 4.5 rebounds while Conner Toolson has put up 13 points. For the Kangaroos, Xavier Bishop has averaged 15.3 points while Brandon McKissic has put up 10.9 points.
BRILLIANT BISHOP: Bishop has connected on 35.9 percent of the 167 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 9 of 33 over the last five games. He’s also converted 78.9 percent of his free throws this season.
PERFECT WHEN: UMKC is a perfect 5-0 when it holds an opponent to 63 points or fewer. The Kangaroos are 6-20 when opponents score more than 63.
ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Wolverines have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Kangaroos. Utah Valley has 47 assists on 75 field goals (62.7 percent) across its previous three outings while UMKC has assists on 38 of 69 field goals (55.1 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Utah Valley is ranked second among WAC teams with an average of 77.5 points per game.