Six weeks of non-conference action has come to an end, but Alabama State and Jackson State opens conference play with a huge men’s and women’s double-header right out of the gate.
Exciting finishes is what history has shown us in recent meetings when the two women’s teams collide. The past three meetings have been decided by five points or less. In fact, the last time the Lady Tigers and Lady Hornets met, ASU eliminated JSU, advanced to the semi-finals, and eventually won the 2015 SWAC Basketball Tournament.
JSU leads the league in scoring (64.5 ppg) while ASU is first in the conference in scoring defense 62.4 ppg). Pre-season Player of the Year Britney Wright has battled injuries during the early part of the season averaging 11.6 ppg. which is nearly seven points below last season’s average. The Lady Tigers are led by Derica Wiggins who is also fifth in SWAC in scoring producing 13.1 points per game.
On the men’s side, three out of the five non-conference wins for the Hornets came against Division I opponents including an opening night 85-82 victory at Virginia Tech. Four year starting point guard Jamel Waters holds ASU together with a steady 15.3 points per game.
At 5-8, JSU owns the best record it has had entering conference play under Brent. Statistical categories place the Tigers in good light among other SWAC teams. Newcome Paris Collins has made his presence felt early. The Des Moines Area Community College transfer is second in the conference in scoring averaging 16.7 points per game.
JSU is second in the 10-team conference in scoring offense (72.1) and first in scoring defense (68.9) and scoring margin (+3.2).
The Tigers are also first in defensive field-goal percentage, defensive three point field-goal percentage, rebounding margin and turnover margin. The Tigers are also a perfect 4-0 at home.