UNO meets SHSU in Southland semis
New Orleans (18-12, 13-6) vs. No. 1 seed Sam Houston State (21-10, 16-2)
Southland Conference Tourney Semifinals, Leonard E. Merrell Center, Katy, Texas; Friday, 5 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: A ticket to the Southland championship game is about to be punched as New Orleans and Sam Houston State are set to square off. The only meeting between the teams this season came on Feb. 27, when New Orleans made just five 3-pointers on 19 attempts while the Bearkats went 12 for 26 behind the arc en route to an 11-point victory.
SUPER SENIORS: Sam Houston State has relied heavily on its seniors this year. Cameron Delaney, Kai Mitchell, Josh Delaney and Marcus Harris have collectively accounted for 59 percent of the team’s scoring this year and 62 percent of all Bearkats points over the last five games.
BRILLIANT BRYSON: Bryson Robinson has connected on 35.8 percent of the 162 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 7 of 27 over the last five games. He’s also converted 76.3 percent of his free throws this season.
UNDEFEATED WHEN: The Bearkats are 17-0 when they hold opposing teams to 69 points or fewer and 4-10 when opponents exceed 69 points. The Privateers are 10-0 when at least four of their players score in double-figures and 8-12 on the year otherwise.
ASSIST RATIOS: The Bearkats have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Privateers. Sam Houston State has an assist on 55 of 80 field goals (68.8 percent) over its past three games while New Orleans has assists on 42 of 84 field goals (50 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The Sam Houston State defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 22.2 percent of all possessions, which is the 27th-highest rate in the country. New Orleans has turned the ball over on 22 percent of its possessions (ranked 325th among Division I teams).