FACTS & STATS: Site: Wells Fargo Arena (10,754) -- Tempe, Arizona. Television:
Pac-12 Network. Home Record: California 7-4. ASU 13-2. Away Record: California
3-4, ASU 3-2. Neutral Record: California 3-0, ASU 1-1. Conference Record:
California 5-4, ASU 6-3. Series Record: California leads, 37-35.
GAMES NOTES: After winning back-to-back games in Pac-12 play for the first
time this season, the California Golden Bears will try to make it three
straight when they visit the Arizona State Sun Devils at Wells Fargo Arena.
California pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season in the Pac-12 as
it knocked off then No. 10 Oregon, 58-54, on Saturday. The win came on the
heels of a 71-68 victory against Oregon State for the Golden Bears who hadn't
strung two wins together since defeating UC Santa Barbara and Prairie View A&M
in consecutive contests in late December. California is 13-8 overall on the
campaign, including records of 5-4 in league play and 3-4 in road contests.
The Golden Bears will remain in the Grand Canyon State to face No. 7 Arizona
As for Arizona State, it had a three-game winning streak snapped in a 96-92
loss on the road last time out against Washington. The Sun Devils are still an
impressive 17-5 overall, while tied for third in the Pac-12 standings with
UCLA at 6-3. The Sun Devils have been pretty tough to beat at home this season
with a mark of 13-2 at Wells Fargo Arena. They will have a chance to improve
on that next time out against Stanford.
With wins in each of the last five meetings between these squads California
has earned a 37-35 lead in the all-time series.
The win over Oregon was the first by California against a top-10 team since
January of 2008. The Golden Bears forced 22 turnovers in the contest which
helped them overcome just a 35.6 shooting percentage. Richard Solomon had
one of his best games of the season with a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double.
California is lucky enough to employ the services of the Pac-12's leading
scorer Allen Crabbe (19.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg). The 6-foot-6 guard has a ton of size
and athletic ability which makes him a versatile scorer that is tough to stop.
When teams have managed to keep him down the Golden Bears are fortunate to
have a solid second option in fellow guard Justin Cobbs (14.3 ppg, 4.4 apg)
who is also a skilled distributor. Solomon (8.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and David
Kravish (8.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) carry the workload inside. In all California is
just ninth in the conference in scoring (68.1 ppg), while holding opponents to
65.3 points per game on just over 40 percent shooting.
Despite another fine effort from Jahii Carson (32 points) the Sun Devils were
unable to get by Washington. The Sun Devils managed to shoot 63.8 percent from
the field in the game, including a 12-of-19 effort from beyond the arc.
However, a 21-6 deficit on points from the free-throw line eventually became
to much to handle.
Carson has played well beyond his years as the freshman guard leads the Sun
Devils in scoring (18.3 ppg) and distributing (5.1 apg). Carson has scored at
least 20 points in 11 games this season and has already surpassed the freshman
record for assists in a season at Arizona State. Only two other freshmen in
Arizona State history have had as many 20-point games (James Harden and Ike
Diogu). Carson isn't alone out there though as Carrick Felix (14.6 ppg, 8.0
rpg) has been extremely productive in the frontcourt. Jordan Bachynski (10.2
ppg, 7.1 rpg, 4.1 bpg) is a more traditional man on the interior and his
ability to disrupt in the middle has been well established as he leads the
conference in blocked shots. Evan Gordon (10.9 ppg) and Jonathan Gilling (9.7
ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.0 apg) have been solid contributors as well.
Two of the best scorers in the conference are going head-to-head in this
contest. The different in the game will be which team has the better
supporting cast and Arizona State has that.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 76, California 68