Arizona State (9-2) at Texas Tech (5-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 22, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: United Spirit Arena (15,020) -- Lubbock, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Arizona State 8-1, Texas Tech 5-3. Away Record: Arizona State 0-0, Texas Tech 0-0. Neutral Record: Arizona State 1-1, Texas Tech 0-0. Conference Record: Arizona State 0-0, Texas Tech 0-0. Series Record: Texas Tech leads , 22-19.
GAMES NOTES: After a week off the Arizona State Sun Devils will play their first true road game of the season when they land in Lubbock to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders at United Spirit Arena on Saturday.
The Sun Devils topped Dartmouth last weekend to bounce back from a 78-61 loss to DePaul. With the win Arizona State is off to a 9-2 start, although the early success has been aided by a large number of home games. Arizona State has spent nine of its 11 games in Tempe and before Saturday has yet to play in a true road contest. The week off should do the Sun Devils some good as they are 17-8 in the last six seasons with at least five days between contests. Arizona State will be off for another week before facing Coppin State next Saturday as part of a three-game homestand.
On the other side, Texas Tech is looking to stop a two-game losing skid that was extended by a 66-62 loss to Alabama on Wednesday. Like Arizona State, Texas Tech has not had a road test this season in fact the Red Raiders have played all eight of their contests in Lubbock. Even with that type of advantage the Red Raiders are just 5-3 overall this season and have three losses in their last four games. Texas Tech will play two more games at home before its first road game when it faces TCU on Jan. 5.
As far as the all-time series goes, Texas Tech leads 22-19. However the teams have not met since 1988 when Arizona State won its fourth straight against the Red Raiders, 81-75 in Lubbock.
The Sun Devils stifled Dartmouth last weekend en route to the 19-point victory. The Big Green managed to shoot only 32.7 percent against Arizona State while the Sun Devils hit on 45.6 percent of their own field goal attempts. Led by a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double from Carrick Felix, the Sun Devils had a 42-32 advantage on the glass.
Felix has been stellar for the Sun Devils recently as he is averaging 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds over the last eight games. Felix (15.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg) has been on fire from the field during that span, hitting 62.6 percent of his field goal attempts while knocking down 11-of-27 shots from beyond the arc. Still the top scorer on the team is Jahii Carson (17.9 ppg, 5.3 apg). The freshman guard has been sensational in his first season and is among the top rookie scorers in the country. Evan Gordon (11.4 ppg) adds scoring from the backcourt, while Jordan Bachynski (10.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4.8 bpg) has been a force on the interior. The Sun Devils are scoring a respectable 75.7 points per game, while owning a scoring margin of nearly +10 points.
Texas Tech rallied from a 20-point deficit against Alabama to come within two points (63-61) with just over a minute remaining but couldn't come any closer. The Red Raiders didn't do themselves any favors by shooting at just a 37.9 percent clip including a 3-of-18 effort from beyond the arc. Jaye Crockett played 32 minutes off the bench in the losing effort and recorded a double- double of 22 points and 11 rebounds.
In recent weeks the Red Raiders have really struggled to find their shot from beyond the arc. The 3-of-18 effort was the second straight game in which the Red Raiders failed to make more than 17 percent of their shots from 3-point range. Still, the Red Raiders are the second-highest scoring team in the Big 12 (78.0 ppg) and the 35th in the nation. Texas Tech hits 45.9 percent of its shots from the field. The Red Raiders have done a good job in forcing turnovers, ranking sixth in the country in steals (11.1 pg). Even though he has spent the entire season coming off the bench, Crockett (16.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg) has been the team's leading scorer and rebounder. Josh Gray (11.5 ppg) is also scoring in double figures, as is Dejan Kravic (10.1 ppg).
Behind Felix and Carson, the Sun Devils will be more than capable of holding their own against the high-octane Red Raiders. Arizona State has yet to prove it can win on the road though, meaning this game should be tightly contested throughout.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 81, Texas Tech 76
12/22 10:44:14 ET