(Photo Credit: Steve Rodriguez/Sun Devil Athletics)
The No. 11 Arizona State Sun Devils (19-3, 8-2) welcome in-state rival Arizona (4-17, 0-10) Tuesday night for their third game in five days.
The Wildcats have lost all 10 of their conference games, with the last six all being double-digit losses.
ASU’s last four wins have come by a combined 10 points, as they are now 10-0 in games decided by five points or less and/or in overtime.
Redshirt senior center Joy Burke is coming off a career game against Oregon, leading the Sun Devils to victory with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Burke came off the bench and produced very well, as starting freshman forward Sophie Brunner struggled and finished with no points and four rebounds.
Tuesday’s rivalry game against Arizona should have a very different feel than Oregon’s run n’ gun style of play. The Ducks averaged 95 points a game coming into Sunday, while the Wildcats are currently averaging only 59.6 points per game.
Keys to victory:
1. Shut down Arizona’s perimeter game
The Wildcats are currently shooting 35.6 percent from behind the arc with senior guard Kama Griffitts shooting 102 of Arizona’s total 236 three-point attempts. Shutting down Griffitts from the outside will be key to the ASU coming out on top.
2. Mann vs. Warthen
Sun Devil redshirt senior guard Deja Mann is much more efficient when it comes to taking care of the basketball. If she can force Arizona’s redshirt junior guard Candice Warthen into multiple turnovers, it could be a long night for the Wildcats.
3. Get out of the gates fast
ASU trailed for the majority of the game Sunday against Oregon because they couldn’t slow down the Ducks’ fast paced offense. The Sun Devils trailed by five heading into halftime Sunday, and also had to come back from seven points down against Oregon State last Friday in the waning moments to pull out a victory. Against a team with nothing to lose tonight, a fast start is a must.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MT Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
You can reach Brendan Kennealy on twitter at @BrendanKennealy or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org