VMI, ETSU meet in SoCon quarters

VMI (9-23, 4-15) vs. No. 1 seed East Tennessee State (27-4, 16-2)

Southern Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Harrah’s Cherokee Center, Asheville, North Carolina; Saturday, 12 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: A spot in the SoCon semifinals is up for grabs as VMI is set to take on East Tennessee State. East Tennessee State swept the two-game regular season series. The teams last faced each other on Feb. 15, when the Buccaneers outshot VMI 39.1 percent to 36.2 percent and made 15 more foul shots en route to a 72-67 victory.

TALE OF TWO ROSTERS: East Tennessee State has been fueled by senior leadership this year while VMI has depended on freshmen. Seniors . On the other side, freshmen Garrett Gilkeson, Travis Evee and Kamdyn Curfman have combined to account for 45 percent of the team’s scoring this year.GIFTED GARRETT: Gilkeson has connected on 31 percent of the 145 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 5 of 25 over the last five games. He’s also made 77.1 percent of his free throws this season.

WINLESS WHEN: VMI is 0-18 when scoring fewer than 73 points and 9-5 when scoring at least 73.

PASSING FOR POINTS: The Keydets have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Buccaneers. East Tennessee State has 39 assists on 79 field goals (49.4 percent) across its previous three contests while VMI has assists on 54 of 91 field goals (59.3 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: VMI as a collective unit has made 11 3-pointers per game this season, which is third-most among Division I teams. The Keydets have averaged 12.8 3-pointers per game over their last five games.