No. 5 seed Florida International (19-13, 10-9) vs. No. 4 seed Charlotte (16-13, 10-8)
Conference USA Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas; Thursday, 6:30 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Florida International and Charlotte are set to do battle in the quarterfinals of the CUSA tournament. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last faced each other on March 1, when the Panthers shot 48.3 percent from the field while limiting Charlotte’s shooters to just 35.3 percent en route to a 67-52 victory.
VETERAN PRESENCE: Senior leadership has been on display for both teams this year. Jordan Shepherd, Drew Edwards and Amidou Bamba have collectively scored 44 percent of Charlotte’s points this season. For Florida International, Osasumwen Osaghae, Devon Andrews and Trejon Jacob have combined to account for 50 percent of the team’s total scoring.
OFFENSIVE THREAT: Shepherd has been directly responsible for 43 percent of all Charlotte field goals over the last five games. Shepherd has 23 field goals and 20 assists in those games.
WINLESS WHEN: Florida International is 0-6 when scoring fewer than 63 points and 19-7 when scoring at least 63.
SHARING THE BURDEN: Florida International is a perfect 7-0 when at least five of its players score 10 or more points. The team is 12-13 when fewer than five Panthers players score in double-figures.
PACE OF PLAY: The upbeat Florida International offense has averaged 73.5 possessions per game, the 27th-most in Division I. Charlotte has operated at a slower pace and is averaging only 66.9 possessions per game (ranked 280th, nationally).
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