UTRGV meets NMSU in WAC semis
Texas Rio Grande Valley (19-15, 10-7) vs. New Mexico State (28-4, 16-1)
Western Athletic Conference Tourney Semifinals, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas; Friday, 8 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Texas Rio Grande Valley is set to face New Mexico State with a spot in the WAC championship game on the line. New Mexico State swept the two-game regular season series. The teams last played on Feb. 23, when the Aggies shot 50.8 percent from the field while limiting Texas Rio Grande Valley to just 48.1 percent en route to the nine-point victory.
VETERAN PRESENCE: Senior leadership could play a big role in this game’s outcome. Eli Chuha, Terrell Brown and AJ Harris have combined to account for 36 percent of New Mexico State’s scoring this season. For Texas Rio Grande Valley, Javon Levi, Terry Winn III, Lesley Varner II, Tyson Smith and Jordan Jackson have collectively accounted for 74 percent of all Texas Rio Grande Valley scoring.
OFFENSIVE THREAT: Levi has either made or assisted on 41 percent of all Texas Rio Grande Valley field goals over the last three games. Levi has accounted for 14 field goals and 17 assists in those games.
PASSING FOR POINTS: The Aggies have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Vaqueros. New Mexico State has 52 assists on 89 field goals (58.4 percent) over its previous three games while Texas Rio Grande Valley has assists on 39 of 76 field goals (51.3 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The New Mexico State defense has allowed only 64.1 points per game to opponents this season, ranking the Aggies 26th among Division I teams. The Texas Rio Grande Valley offense has averaged 70.7 points through 34 games (ranked 210th, nationally).