UNC-Asheville looks to extend streak vs USC Upstate

UNC-Asheville (9-9, 3-4) vs. South Carolina Upstate (7-13, 2-5)

G.B. Hodge Center, Spartanburg, South Carolina; Saturday, 4 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: UNC-Asheville looks for its sixth straight win in the head-to-head series over South Carolina Upstate. UNC-Asheville has won by an average of 10 points in its last five wins over the Spartans. South Carolina Upstate’s last win in the series came on Nov. 29, 2012, a 73-71 win.

LEADING THE CHARGE: Everette Hammond is putting up 14.3 points and 4.3 rebounds to lead the charge for the Spartans. Tommy Bruner is also a primary contributor, producing 12.1 points per game. The Bulldogs are led by Tajion Jones, who is averaging 16.5 points and 4.2 rebounds.

DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Bulldogs have allowed only 71.6 points per game to Big South opponents thus far, an improvement from the 79 per game they allowed against non-conference opponents.TERRIFIC TAJION: Jones has connected on 44.3 percent of the 106 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 11 for 21 over the last three games. He’s also converted 68.1 percent of his foul shots this season.

WINLESS WHEN: South Carolina Upstate is 0-12 this year when it scores 72 points or fewer and 7-1 when it scores at least 73.

ASSIST DISTRIBUTION: The Bulldogs have recently created baskets via assists more often than the Spartans. South Carolina Upstate has 25 assists on 67 field goals (37.3 percent) over its past three outings while UNC-Asheville has assists on 34 of 81 field goals (42 percent) during its past three games.

GETTING DEFENSIVE: UNC-Asheville has forced opponents into committing turnovers on 26 percent of all possessions this year, the eighth-highest rate among all Division I teams.