Appalachian State (9-5, 3-2) vs. South Alabama (8-6, 2-3)
Mitchell Center, Mobile, Alabama; Saturday, 5 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: South Alabama goes for the season sweep over Appalachian State after winning the previous matchup in Mobile. The teams last played each other on Jan. 15, when the Jaguars shot 48.1 percent from the field while limiting Appalachian State to just 38.5 percent en route to a 73-64 victory.
VETERAN PRESENCE: Senior leadership has been on display for both of these teams. Michael Flowers, Kayo Goncalves and John Pettway have combined to score 53 percent of South Alabama’s points this season and 59 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For Appalachian State, Michael Almonacy, James Lewis Jr. and Justin Forrest have combined to score 34 percent of the team’s points this season, including 52 percent of all Mountaineers points over their last five.
DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Jaguars have given up just 69.2 points per game across five conference games, an improvement from the 80.2 per game they gave up to non-conference competition.
OFFENSIVE THREAT: Flowers has been directly responsible for 51 percent of all South Alabama field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has 26 field goals and 11 assists in those games.
TWO STREAKS: Appalachian State has dropped its last three road games, scoring 51.7 points and allowing 73 points during those contests. South Alabama has won its last four home games, scoring an average of 85.5 points while giving up 64.8.
ASSIST RATIOS: The Mountaineers have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Jaguars. South Alabama has 30 assists on 72 field goals (41.7 percent) across its previous three outings while Appalachian State has assists on 42 of 76 field goals (55.3 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: South Alabama has attempted the second-most free throws among all Sun Belt teams. The Jaguars have averaged 22.2 free throws per game this season.
For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25