GAME NOTES: The Arizona State Sun Devils make the trip across the bay to Maples Pavilion for a Pac-10 date with the Stanford Cardinal. Arizona State is in desperate need of a win tonight, having lost six straight contests. Pac-10 play has not been kind to the Sun Devils. They have played to an 8-4 clip against non-conference foes, but are just 1-9 against league opponents.
Speaking of desperation, Stanford currently reeks of it. After beginning Pac-10 play at 3-1, the Cardinal has lost five of its last six contests to fall to 4-6 in league action. Included in the slump was a four-game losing streak that stretched from Jan. 15th to Jan. 27th. The Cardinal broke the slide with a victory over Oregon State on Jan. 29th, before a loss to No. 21 Arizona on Thursday night shattered hopes of a swift turnaround.
With regard to the season series, this evening’s matchup marks the 71st meeting between Arizona State and Stanford. The Cardinal currently holds a 40-30 lead over the Sun Devils.
Arizona State has not won since a 69-59, non-conference victory over Tulsa on Jan. 12th. The Sun Devils have now lost eight consecutive Pac-10 games, falling most recently to Cal on Thursday night. Arizona State trailed Cal by just two at the half and fought hard in the second half before eventually succumbing to the Golden Bears. The Sun Devils held Cal to 26.1 percent shooting and 20 percent shooting from three-point range in the second half to remain in contention. What truly sunk Arizona State was its inability to stay out of foul trouble. The Sun Devils were outscored 14-6 from the charity stripe over the final 20 minutes. Trent Lockett hit five of Arizona State’s eight free throws on the night and paced the team with 18 points. Jamelle McMillan added 14 points and went 4-of-7 from downtown. Lockett leads the team in scoring (14.1 ppg), rebounding (5.6 rpg) and free throw attempts (93) this year. He is paced by the exciting Ty Abbott, who has hit a team-high 59 three- pointers and scores 13.6 ppg. Rihards Kuksiks adds 10.2 ppg, but from there the scoring tails off, and the Sun Devils manage just 63.7 ppg, which is the main reason for their undesirable record.
Jeremy Green led Stanford in its 78-69 loss to nationally ranked Arizona. He scored 21 points but shot just 8-of-21 from the floor. As a whole the Cardinal hit 41.3 percent of its shots and 24 percent of its three-point shots on the night. Forward Josh Owens fought with vigor on the blocks, scoring 13 points and pulling down nine rebounds. He led the Cardinal to a 37-32 rebounding advantage. Jarrett Mann turned in perhaps the best all-around Cardinal performance, as he netted 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, while grabbing eight boards and handing out a team-high five assists. Still, Stanford’s effort fell short against a superior squad. Arizona shot 52.9 percent for the game and outscored the Cardinal 19-11 from the free throw line. Stanford is not used to being exposed on the defensive end. The Cardinal is allowing teams to shoot just 41.4 percent from the floor and is allowing just 61.5 ppg. Typically, the problem for Stanford is a lack of consistent offense. The Cardinal, led by Green (14.5 ppg) averages just 63.8 ppg.
Stanford is coming off a tough loss to a superior opponent and stumbles upon the perfect opportunity for a bounce back win tonight. The Cardinal should be able to return to their typical brand of strong defensive play in a win.
GAME NOTES: The Arizona State Sun Devils make the trip across the bay to Maples Pavilion for a Pac-10 date with the Stanford Cardinal.
FACTS & STATS: Site: Maples Pavilion (7,329) — Stanford, California. Television: FSN. Home Record: Arizona State 5-5, Stanford 9-3. Away Record: Arizona State 2-7, Stanford 1-5. Neutral Record: Arizona State 2-1, Stanford 1-2. Conference Record: Arizona State 1-9, Stanford 4-6. Series Record: Stanford leads, 40-30.
Saturday, February 5th, 6:00 p.m. (et)
Stanford 64, Arizona State 60