Conference play starts for ACU, Utah Valley

Abilene Christian (9-2, 0-0) vs. Utah Valley (9-3, 0-0)

UCCU Events Center, Orem, Utah; Thursday, 8 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Abilene Christian and Utah Valley meet in the first WAC game of the season for both teams. In conference play last season, Abilene Christian finished with 13 wins and two losses in the Southland, while Utah Valley won nine games and lost four in the WAC.

BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: The powerful Fardaws Aimaq has averaged a double-double (19.4 points and 13.7 rebounds) to lead the way for the Wolverines. Connor Harding is also a big contributor, producing 10.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. The Wildcats have been led by Mahki Morris, who is averaging 11.3 points.MIGHTY MAHKI: Morris has connected on 38.2 percent of the 34 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 7 of 15 over his last five games. He’s also converted 86.1 percent of his free throws this season.

STREAK SCORING: Utah Valley has won its last four home games, scoring an average of 84.5 points while giving up 61.5.

ASSIST RATIOS: The Wolverines have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Wildcats. Utah Valley has 48 assists on 81 field goals (59.3 percent) across its past three outings while Abilene Christian has assists on 45 of 83 field goals (54.2 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: The Abilene Christian defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 31.5 percent of all possessions, which ranks the Wildcats first among Division I teams. Utah Valley has turned the ball over on 21.8 percent of its possessions (ranking the Wolverines 314th, nationally).

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