Dartmouth (2-6) at Arizona State (8-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 15, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Wells Fargo Arena (14,198) -- Tempe, Arizona. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Dartmouth 1-2, Arizona State 7-1. Away Record: Dartmouth 1-4, Arizona State 0-0. Neutral Record: Dartmouth 0-0, Arizona State 1-1. Conference Record: Dartmouth 0-0, Arizona State 0-0. Series Record: Arizona State leads 1-0.
GAMES NOTES: The Arizona State Sun Devils wrap up a six-game homestand on Saturday by hosting the Dartmouth Big Green at Wells Fargo Arena.
Dartmouth is in the midst of an extended eight-game road trip that began at the end of November. The Big Green have earned just one win in the previous five contests of the trip and are sitting at just 2-6 overall. Dartmouth's most recent setback was a difficult one as the Big Green fell by a slim 52-50 margin to Vermont. Dartmouth will play at Bryant and at Boston College to close out the stretch of road games.
A 78-61 loss at home to DePaul on Wednesday derailed what was a stellar start for Arizona State which had been 8-1 for only the fourth time in the last 38 years. The Sun Devils have been benefiting from a bulk of contests at home. Arizona State is 7-1 at home and has yet to play a true road game with its other two decisions coming as part of the Las Vegas Invitational. Arizona State will travel to Lubbock to square off with Texas Tech next.
There has been just one previous meeting between these schools. In that matchup Arizona State pulled out a 66-55 win. Arizona State has won all six of its games against Ivy League opposition.
In a game that featured seven ties and seven lead changes Dartmouth found itself deadlocked at 50-50 with less than a minute remaining against Vermont. However, the Catamounts got a pair of field goals on their next possession and the Big Green missed a pair of 3-point shots on their last possession to take the loss. Dartmouth shot just 31.6 percent in the game and was led in scoring by Gabas Maldunas, who put in 14 points and was a rebound shy of a double- double.
As a team Dartmouth is scoring only 57.0 points per game, while shooting at a meager 35.4 percent from the floor. The Big Green's field-goal percentage is one of the 10 worst in the nation while its scoring average is also near the very bottom of Division I level squads. Not every team has managed to run past Dartmouth though as the Big Green allow 62.6 points per game on 41.0 percent shooting. Maldunas (12.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg) is the lead scorer and rebounder. The 6-foot-9 forward does most of his work in the low post, but has not been as efficient a scorer as he could be by shooting just 42.6 percent. Alex Mitola (11.1 ppg) is also scoring in double figures, but like Maldunas, has not shot particularly well (31.0 FG percentage). John Golden (9.9 ppg) and Jvonte Brooks (7.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg) are the only other player scoring more than five points a game.
Arizona State gave up far too many easy looks to DePaul which shot at an even 50.0 percent clip against the Sun Devils on Wednesday. Arizona State connected on 43.1 percent of its shots from the field but hit only 3-of-15 from beyond the arc and was on the short end of a 44-34 margin on the boards. Three different players scored 12 points, all starters, while Arizona State got very little from its bench, which was outscored 37-6 by the DePaul reserves.
In comparison to Dartmouth, Arizona State is an offensive juggernaut. The Sun Devils are scoring 77.2 points per game on 47.5 percent shooting. Both of those marks are among the 50 best in the nation. On the other end Arizona State is giving up 68.3 points per game on just 39.5 percent shooting. Freshman guard Jahii Carson (17.9 ppg, 5.2 apg) has really lived up to the hype he got as a recruit. Carson has scored 20 or more points five times this season which is tied for the fourth-best mark by a freshman in school history. Versatile forward Carrick Felix (15.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg) has also been scoring at a high rate thanks in large part to his efficiency with the ball in his hands. Felix is hitting on 60.6 percent of his field goal attempts. Evan Gordon (11.8 ppg) and Jordan Bachynski (10.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg) are also strong contributors.
Arizona State has really defended its home floor well this season and that will continue on Saturday. The Sun Devils have too much offensive firepower for a stagnant Dartmouth squad that has not traveled well.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 81, Dartmouth 61
12/15 10:36:12 ET