U-S-C (6-22) at Arizona State (8-20)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday February 25th, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Wells Fargo Arena (14,198) -- Tempe, Arizona Television: FSN-PT, AZ. Home Record: USC 4-11, ASU 5-10. Away Record: USC 1-10, ASU 2-8. Neutral Record: USC 1-1, ASU 1-2. Conference Record: USC 1-14, ASU 4-12. Series Record: U-S-C leads, 51-33.
GAME NOTES: The Arizona State Sun Devils will try to sweep the USC Trojans for the first time since the 1994-1995 season as the two struggling Pac-12 Conference programs square off at the Wells Fargo Arena.
Arizona State earned a 62-53 decision when it faced USC on Jan. 5th in the inaugural meeting of the season. The Trojans still lead 51-33 in the all-time series despite the loss last month. The Sun Devils set a season-high as they knocked down 61.1 percent of their field goals to take down the Trojans, who shot just 38.2 percent from the floor in the loss.
The Trojans come in with a 6-22 overall record after its 70-54 loss to Arizona on Thursday. The loss was their sixth in a row. USC was held under 40 percent shooting from the field for the fifth straight game by the Wildcats. The Trojans made just 5-of-21 from beyond the arc and managed to attempt only eight free throws in the loss to Arizona. Head coach Kevin O'Neill will hope to end the season strong after its terrible run this year. USC is last in the Pac-12 standings with a 1-14 league record. The Trojans have been outscored by an average of 11.9 ppg in conference games.
Maurice Jones has been the bright spot for USC this season as he leads the team with 13.6 points, 3.5 assists, and 1.8 steals per contest. The 5-7 point guard struggled against Arizona his last time out, as he was went 4-of-14 from the floor to net 10 points, but he managed to hand out seven assists and grab six rebounds. Jones has played 40 minutes in two straight games. Byron Wesley and Garrett Jackson did their best to step up as Jones was having an off night. Wesley scored 18 points and grabbed seven boards while Jackson added 10 points.
Arizona State has not fared much better than the Trojans this year, as it comes in with an 8-20 overall record and a 4-12 league mark.. Head coach Herb Sendek's team lost its fourth in a row on Thursday as it dropped a 66-57 decision to the UCLA Bruins. The Sun Devils played tough against UCLA, as they won the rebounding battle and attempted more free throws, but the Bruins 50 percent shooting clip proved to be the difference. Although its better than the visitor's, Arizona State's scoring average of 60.1 ppg is among the worst in the Pac-12.
The Sun Devils will need to rely on Trent Lockett to complete the sweep tonight. Lockett is an off-guard capable of big numbers, but he has been in a slump and made only 5-of-21 attempts from the floor in his last two games. Carrick Felix is the second leading scorer on the team with an average of 10.1 ppg, but the versatile swingman was not in the lineup Thursday as he battled a virus. With Felix out of action, Jonathan Gilling netted 17 points while Chris Colvin scored 10 points and dished out a career-high nine assists.
Arizona State and USC will both be playing for pride in this one. Both teams would like to add a positive note onto their miserable seasons. USC is a much better team defensively, but it has virtually no offensive firepower. The Sun Devils will be able to complete the sweep if they can contain Jones.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 64, USC 62
02/25 10:35:09 ET