Oregon (15-7) at Arizona State (17-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 5 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Wells Fargo Arena (10,754) -- Tempe, Arizona. Television: FS1. Home Record: Oregon 10-3, ASU 12-1. Away Record: Oregon 3-4, ASU 4-3. Neutral Record: Oregon 2-0, ASU 1-2. Conference Record: Oregon 3-7, ASU 6-4. Series Record: Arizona State leads, 41-35.
GAME NOTES: The Arizona State Sun Devils will square off with another team from the Beaver State on Saturday, as the Oregon Ducks invade Wells Fargo Arena for a Pac-12 Conference conflict.
Arizona State narrowly edged out Oregon State, 86-82, in overtime on Thursday to kick off a three-game homestand. The Sun Devils have won four of their last five games, improving to 17-6 overall and 6-4 in league action. Their biggest game of the season is next on the schedule, as they will host second- ranked Arizona next Friday.
Oregon clashed with the Wildcats on Thursday and despite leading for most of the second half, came up short in a 67-65 letdown. The Ducks have struggled with consistency recently, trading wins and losses in its last four games. They are still a solid 15-7 overall, but their league record leaves much to be desired (3-7). They will begin a three-game homestand against in-state rival Oregon State next.
This is the first of two scheduled meetings between these squads this season, with the other slated for March 4 in Eugene. Oregon has claimed victory in the three previous meetings, following a six-game win streak for the Sun Devils in the all-time series, which they lead by a 41-35 margin.
Oregon clung to a 38-37 lead at halftime and did not trail until T.J. McConnell drilled a 3-pointer with 1:32 left in regulation for Arizona. The Ducks shot 42.6 percent from the floor, compared to Arizona's 40 percent, but they were outscored 19-13 from the free-throw line, while turning the ball over 12 times.
The loss was quite a step back offensively for the Ducks, who lead the Pac-12 in scoring this season (83.8 ppg). However, Oregon has been trending downward recently, failing to reach the 80-point plateau in each of the last five games. Joseph Young (17.9 ppg) tops the team in scoring, leading a quartet of players averaging in double figures. Young struggled against Arizona, reaching a team-high 14 points on just 5-of-13 from the field. Mike Moser (12.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Jason Calliste (12.5 ppg) and Damyean Dotson (10.5 ppg) round out the rest of the group of primary scorers.
Arizona State was clinging to a 64-62 lead with 20 seconds to play against Oregon State, but Roberto Nelson nailed a jumper to force overtime. The Sun Devils dominated the extra session, reaching their largest lead of the game (nine), hitting 6-of-9 from the floor, including a perfect 3-of-3 showing from 3-point range.
The Sun Devils' core trio put on quite a show on Thursday, with Jahii Carson (19.3 ppg, 4.7 apg), Jermaine Marshall (15.8 ppg) and Jordan Bachynski (11.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 4.3 bpg) all finishing with impressive numbers. Carson, who is the third in the Pac-12 in scoring, totaled 23 points and six assists. Marshall tallied a game-high 25 points and Bachynski, who leads the nation in blocked shots, nearly had a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks. Anchored by those three, the Sun Devils have performed well this season, ranking fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring (77.3 ppg), while limiting foes to just 67.5 ppg.
At some point, we may have to admit that Oregon just isn't one of the better teams in the Pac-12. Although Arizona State still has to prove itself, the Sun Devils have been the more consistent team and with the homecourt advantage, should come out on top.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 78, Oregon 74
02/08 10:35:03 ET