Arizona State (12-3) at USC (9-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 9, 10 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Galen Center (10,258) -- Los Angeles, California.
Television: CSN-BAY, ROOT-NW, RM. Home Record: ASU 9-1, USC 7-0. Away Record:
ASU 2-0, USC 1-3. Neutral Record: ASU 1-2, USC 1-2. Conference Record: ASU
1-1, USC 0-1. Series Record: USC leads, 50-38.
GAME NOTES: The Arizona State Sun Devils take aim at win No. 13 on the season,
as they hit the road to tangle with the USC Trojans on Thursday night in a
Pac-12 duel at the Galen Center.
After stumbling in the league opener against Washington, the Sun Devils got
back on track with a convincing 66-47 rout of Washington State this past
Sunday. The win was the fifth in the last six games for Arizona State, which
is 12-3 overall, including a 2-0 mark in limited road experiences. The Sun
Devils will remain in Los Angeles to face UCLA next.
It was that same UCLA squad that trampled USC, 107-73, the last time the
Trojans were on the floor. The setback ended a brief two-game win streak for
USC, which is 9-5 overall in its first season under head coach Andy Enfield.
The Trojans have been very difficult to stop at home, where they are 7-0 and
will again be on Sunday against top-ranked Arizona.
These teams split the season series a year ago, with the host squad coming out
on top each time. Arizona State has still won three of the last four matchups,
but trails in the all-time series, 50-38.
Led by a game-high 26 points from Jermaine Marshall, the Sun Devils were
easily able to take down Washington State the last time out. Arizona State
limited the Cougars to just 34 percent shooting, while outscoring them by a
19-7 margin off turnovers.
Marshall (15.4 ppg) is a pure scorer, who has excelled in his transition after
playing three seasons at Penn State. The 6-foot-4 guard has scored 20 points
in five games this season, although he had just four points in the team's loss
to Washington. Jahii Carson (18.7 ppg, 4.9 apg) is still the main attraction,
at least as far as scoring goes. Carson finished with 14 points on a 4-of-11
shooting effort against Washington State for one of his more pedestrian
showings. Jordan Bachynski (12.1 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 4.9 bpg) provides the scoring
in the paint, but is best known as the nation's leader in blocked shots.
Rivalry games are usually contentious affairs, but the Trojans' run-in with
UCLA was far from it. USC only connected on 41.9 percent of its shots from the
floor, while turning the ball over 17 times. Byron Wesley did score 21 points
for the Trojans, but three players scored at least 20 points for the Bruins.
Wesley (17 ppg, 7.2 rpg) has been perhaps the biggest beneficiary of Enfield's
system, at least in terms of offensive style. The junior guard is shattering
his career averages of 11.1 ppg and 5.1 rpg this season, and he has scored at
least 20 points in three straight games. There is no one on the roster nearly
as prolific in the scoring department, although Pe'Shon Howard (11 ppg, 4.4
apg), J.T. Terrell (10.8 ppg) and Nikola Jovanovic (10 ppg, 5.6 rpg) give the
Trojans some options. Terrell was able to net 14 points against UCLA, but on
just 5-of-16 shooting from the floor.
Getting back to their home floor should help the Trojans after the debacle
against UCLA. However, Bachynski will force them to be more of a jump-shooting
team, which isn't USC's game, as it is one of the weaker shooting teams in
the league, especially from beyond the arc.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 77, USC 72
01/09 10:36:18 ET
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