Arizona State (16-4) at Washington State (11-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 31, 11 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Beasley Coliseum (11,671) -- Pullman, Washington. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: ASU 13-2. WSU 8-3. Away Record: ASU 2-1, WSU 1-4. Neutral Record: ASU 1-1, WSU 2-2. Conference Record: ASU 5-2, WSU 2-5. Series Record: ASU leads, 36-35.
GAMES NOTES: Coming off a dominant 78-60 win over UCLA, the Arizona State Sun Devils head to Beasley Coliseum to take on the Washington State Cougars in Pac-12 action Thursday night.
After dropping back-to-back games against nationally ranked teams in Oregon and Arizona, the Sun Devils have gotten back on track with wins in consecutive contests. The 18-point victory over UCLA pushed the Sun Devils to 16-4 overall on the season which includes a 5-2 mark against Pac-12 foes which has them tied for third in the league standings.
The Cougars bounced back from a tough stretch where they lost five of six games with a 71-68 win on the road over Oregon State. The Cougars are just 2-5 in Pac-12 play after the victory with a middling overall mark of 11-9. When they have played at home the Cougars have been tough to beat with a record of 8-3 at Beasley Coliseum.
Last year these teams split the season series with each home team earning the win. Arizona State still leads the all-time series with a 36-35 mark against the Cougars.
The win over UCLA was a coming out party for center Jordan Bachynski. The 7- foot-2 center collected career highs in points (22) and rebounds (15) while continuing his assault on the defensive end by swatting six shots. Bachynski was one of three players to have double-digit rebounds in the game as the Sun Devils earned a 53-33 edge on the boards.
The Sun Devils have had a strong season thanks to a talented starting lineup that features five players scoring at least 9.4 points per game. Freshman Jahii Carson (17.2 ppg, 5.2 apg) has risen to the top of the team in both points and assists per game. Carson also ranks among the top five players in the conference in both of those categories. Evan Gordon (11.1 ppg) is shooting just 39.2 percent from the field but has also scored in double figures from the backcourt. On the frontcourt Carrick Felix (15.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg) has scored and crashed the glass with equal success. Bachynski (10.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg) has been a force on the interior all season ranking in the top five in the country in blocks (4.3 pg).
Though the Cougars missed three free-throws in the final minute they were able to hold on against Oregon State. DaVonte Lacy (23 points) and Brock Motum (20 points, 10 rebounds) were instrumental in the win. The Cougars doubled up the Beavers 14-7 from the charity stripe in the game.
The Cougars have not had as much balance on the floor this season. Motum (18.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg) has been a stalwart, scoring in double figures in all 20 games, ranking third in the conference in scoring. After Motum though only Mike Ladd (11.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg) scores in double figures. DaVonte Lacy (9.0 ppg) obviously has the ability to erupted on the offensive end but his erratic shooting (.380 FG percentage) has kept him from consistently doing so. With so few scoring options the Cougars are ranked at the bottom of the conference in scoring (63.6 ppg), as well as in rebounds (34.6 pg). If there is an area that Washington State has done well in its on the defensive side as the Cougars allow just 59.5 points per game.
With how well Arizona State has been playing as a unit it will take more than Motum's efforts to keep Washington State around in this contest, even at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 75, Washington State 65
01/31 10:35:51 ET