GAMES NOTES: A pair of 20-win Pac-12 squads will settle their differences on Wednesday night when the Arizona State Sun Devils square off with the UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion.
After having earned their 20th win of the season, Arizona State had a two-game winning streak ended last time out in a 68-59 loss at home to Washington. The Sun Devils are still an impressive 20-8 overall, as one of four teams in the Pac-12 with at least 20 victories. The Sun Devils are 9-6 in league action which has them a game behind California for fourth in the league standings.
UCLA just captured its 20th win of the season with a 75-59 triumph over cross- town rival USC. The win was the fourth in the last five games for the Bruins who are 20-7 overall and 10-4 in league play. That has them just a game and a half behind No. 11 Arizona and No. 24 Oregon for the top spot in the Pac-12.
When these teams met up in Tempe earlier this season Arizona State rolled to a 78-60 victory led by double-doubles from Carrick Felix (23 points, 11 rebounds) and Jordan Bachynski (22 points, 15 rebounds). The Bruins still hold a commanding lead in the all-time series, 61-18.
Though they shot a solid 47.9 percent from the field, the Sun Devils really didn't have enough offensive punch against Washington. Rebounding was a big reason for the setback as the Sun Devils were on the short end of a 35-22 margin on the glass.
Although leading scorer Jahii Carson (17.5 ppg, 5.0 apg) managed to get into double figures in the loss, the freshman phenom had just 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting. Carson has still been impressive this season ranking in the top five in the conference in points and assists. Felix (14.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg) had one of his worst games of the season scoring just eight points to go with six rebounds. It was the second time in the last three game he has failed to get into double figures. Evan Gordon (11.0 ppg) is another double digit scorer for the Sun Devils, while Bachynski (9.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.7 bpg) can really protect the rim.
All five starters scored in double figures, led by 20 points from Jordan Adams, in UCLA's trouncing of USC. The Bruins shot 47.2 percent from the floor as a team, while scoring 20 points off 17 turnovers by the Trojans. UCLA also did a better job getting to the free-throw line from where it outscored USC, 19-6.
UCLA is dealing with a bit of an injury issue with starting forward Travis Wear (11.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg) out last game with a sprained right foot. Wear is listed as questionable for this contest. There is still plenty of talent on the roster for the Pac-12's best offensive team. The Bruins score 76 points and assist on 17.1 field goals per game, while shooting 46.4 percent from the floor. Shabazz Muhammad (18.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg) is in the running along with Carson for the nation's best freshman, as the second best scorer in the conference. Larry Drew II (7.1 ppg, 7.6 apg) leads the league in assists, Adams (15.1 ppg) scores at a high level and Kyle Anderson (9.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 3.7 apg) is as versatile as they come. David Wear (7.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) did a fine job filling in for his brother, posting a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds).
The first time these two teams battled it out the Sun Devils used their homecourt advantage to roll to victory. This time around that outcome should change with UCLA returning to Pauley Pavilion.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCLA 76, Arizona State 70
02/27 10:36:21 ET
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