College Basketball

Top point guards face off in Charlotte 49ers-Louisiana Tech contest

Charlotte 49ers’ Pierria Henry drives in past Florida Atlantic Owls’ Jackson Trapp in the first half at Halton Arena on Jan. 30.
Charlotte 49ers’ Pierria Henry drives in past Florida Atlantic Owls’ Jackson Trapp in the first half at Halton Arena on Jan. 30. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Thursday’s Louisiana Tech-Charlotte 49ers game at Halton Arena will feature two of Conference USA’s top point guards.

Here’s what you need to know about the matchup between the Bulldogs’ Kenneth (Speedy) Smith and the 49ers’ Pierria Henry, two seniors whose superb college careers are winding down:

Great numbers

Smith leads the nation in assists per game (7.88), while Henry is tops in the conference and seventh nationally in steals (2.71). Smith’s assist-turnover ratio of 3.42 is first in C-USA, and Henry’s ratio of 2.46 is third.

Impact on programs

Henry is the 49ers’ career leader in steals, assists and minutes played. Smith is the Bulldogs’ career steals leader.

Head-to-head

Smith and the Bulldogs have gotten the better of Henry and the 49ers in their two previous meetings – Louisiana Tech beat Charlotte 80-60 in Ruston, La., in the 2013-14 regular season (Henry 20 points; Smith 13 assists), then won 86-65 in the C-USA tournament quarterfinals (Henry 13 points, three assists; Smith zero points, eight assists).

Cool stats

Henry was one of just a few players nationally in the 2013-14 season to average double figures in scoring (12.3) and at least five rebounds (5.1) and five assists (5.8). Smith was the only player in the country last season to be ranked in the top 25 in assist-turnover ratio (3.25), assists per game (7.7) and steals per game (2.5). He was ranked in the top 10 in all of those categories.

Henry

Smith

Assists per game

5.60

7.88

C-USA rank

2

1

National rank

24

1

Steals per game

2.72

1.88

C-USA rank

1

3

National rank

7

T62

Assist-turnover ratio

2.46

3.42

C-USA rank

3

1

National rank

44

6

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