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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 11 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Wells Fargo Arena (10,754) -- Tempe, Arizona. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Washington 9-6, ASU 15-3. Away Record: Washington 4-6, ASU 4-3. Neutral Record: Washington 1-1, ASU 1-1. Conference Record: Washington 6-8, ASU 9-5. Series Record: Washington leads, 39-36.
GAMES NOTES: In the second half of a two-game swing through the Grand Canyon State the Washington Huskies will square off with the Arizona State Sun Devils in a Pac-12 Conference bout at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Huskies were taken down, 70-52, by No. 12 Arizona in the first leg of this journey. Washington has definitely had a drop-off after losing several players to the NBA Draft last season as it is 14-13 overall and just 6-8 against conference foes. That league mark has the Huskies in ninth place and ahead of just three other teams in the Pac-12 standings.
With a 69-57 win over Washington State on Wednesday, Arizona State reached the 20-win plateau after failing to do so in the last two seasons. With just four games left to play the Sun Devils are very much in the Pac-12 title conversation. They are 9-5 in league games which has them just a game back of Arizona and Oregon, which are tied atop the Pac-12 standings. With a 15-3 mark at home this season, Arizona State has enjoyed a stellar homecourt advantage.
In a shootout at Alaska Airlines Arena earlier this season Washington took home a 96-92 victory. It was the sixth straight win for the Huskies in the all-time series, which they now lead 39-36.
Poor shooting sank Washington against Arizona. The Huskies managed to connect on just 30.8 percent of their field-goal attempts in the contest, including a woeful 1-of-11 showing from beyond the arc. C.J. Wilcox managed a team-high 15 points in the game but needed 16 shots to do so.
In comparison to the rest of the Pac-12, Washington is a rather mediocre offensive team. The Huskies rank ninth in the league in both scoring (67.8 pg) and field-goal percentage (.433), while sitting 10th in assists (11.8 pg). Wilcox (17.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg) has done his best to carry the load offensively but is in a bit if a slump as he is connecting on just under 35 percent from the field in the last three games. Teaming with Wilcox in the backcourt are Abdul Gaddy (11.2 ppg, 4.1 apg), who runs the point, and Scott Suggs (11.0 ppg), who is a gunner from long range. On the interior, Aziz N'Diaye (10.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg) is a double-double waiting to happen.
Led by another double-double from Carrick Felix (23 points, 11 rebounds) and another 20-point effort from Jahii Carson, Arizona State eased by Washington State. The Sun Devils also earned a 37-26 edge in rebounds, while shooting an even 50 percent from the floor.
Carson (17.8 ppg, 4.9 apg) has been sensational in just his rookie season. His 21 points against Washington State gives him 12 20-point efforts on the season which has him tied with Wilcox for the second most in the Pac-12 this season. Carson is third in the league in scoring, while also fitting into that spot in assists. Felix (14.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg) is a stellar athlete that can score from anywhere on the floor and cleans the glass well. The 6-foot-6 swingman has posted double-doubles in six of the last nine games for Arizona State. Evan Gordon (11.0 ppg) provides a nice complement for Carson in the backcourt, while Jordan Bachynski (9.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.8 bpg) and Jonathan Gilling (9.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg) can score and rebound. Bachynski is perhaps more important for his defensive efforts as he illustrated with five blocks against the Cougars.
With how well Carson and Felix are playing of late and the Sun Devil faithful behind them, the Sun Devils should be able to earn some revenge on Saturday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 72, Washington 64
02/23 10:47:07 ET
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