Nicholls State (8-6, 2-1) vs. Sam Houston State (10-4, 3-0)
Johnson Coliseum, Huntsville, Texas; Saturday, 6:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Sam Houston State looks for its fifth straight win over Nicholls State at Johnson Coliseum. The last victory for the Colonels at Sam Houston State was a 56-53 win on Feb. 28, 2013.
BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Sam Houston State’s Kai Mitchell has averaged 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds while Zach Nutall has put up 14.7 points and 4.6 rebounds. For the Colonels, Dexter McClanahan has averaged 15.6 points while Warith Alatishe has put up 9.5 points and 8.4 rebounds.
TAKING IT UP A NOTCH: The Bearkats have scored 91 points per game across three conference games, an improvement from the 74.6 per game they put up against non-conference competition.DOMINANT DEXTER: McClanahan has connected on 34.7 percent of the 95 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 7 for 17 over the last three games. He’s also made 68.4 percent of his foul shots this season.
TWO STREAKS: Nicholls State has dropped its last four road games, scoring 62 points and allowing 76.8 points during those contests. Sam Houston State has won its last seven home games, scoring an average of 87.1 points while giving up 64.3.
ASSIST DISTRIBUTION: The Bearkats have recently created baskets via assists more often than the Colonels. Sam Houston State has an assist on 59 of 97 field goals (60.8 percent) across its past three contests while Nicholls State has assists on 26 of 68 field goals (38.2 percent) during its past three games.
STIFLING STATE: Nicholls State has forced opponents into committing turnovers on 27.5 percent of all possessions this year, the sixth-highest rate among all Division I teams.
For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25