(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devils face the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder hoping to come out and erase the recent memory of a previous loss that was deemed the sixth-worst in school history.
There was little, if anything, to mention on the positive end about ASU’s last game against Utah.
The team had nine points at the half. Utah had 41. Utah won the game by 42 points. Momentum was nonexistent.
Colorado was also blown out in its 82-54 loss to the No. 7 Arizona Wildcats on Thursday. Colorado was outrebounded 38-25, which made the biggest impact in Arizona’s win.
The last time these two teams played each other, ASU snuck past Colorado 78-72 and secured its first Pac-12 win of the season. The Sun Devils are 6-5 when playing the Buffaloes, but 4-1 on their home turf. Last time ASU was in Boulder, it lost 61-52 after senior guard Askia Booker scored a team-high 18 points. Colorado will look to end its three-game losing streak, while both teams will look to overcome a recent embarrassment on the court.
Keys to the Game
In ASU’s 68-66 win against UCLA, the Sun Devils outrebounded the Bruins offensively, with Eric Jacobsen and Savon Goodman combining for half of ASU’s offensive boards. That has to happen again Sunday in order to avoid giving second-chance point opportunities in a close contest, as well as to maintain an up-tempo offensive strategy.
More shots, less passes
Moving the ball is important, of course. However, in both the Utah and USC games, ASU made only four and eight field goals respectively in the first half. It is this stagnant first-half play that gets ASU into trouble late.
Askia Booker is oftentimes the catalyst for his offense, being able to dish out assists while racking up the points. Booker is averaging 11 points per game and will have something to prove as he comes out for his senior night tonight, and thus his last time playing for his home crowd.
ASU’s point guards Tra Holder and Gerry Blakes both perform best when their forwards get hot and start knocking down shots. In addition, if ASU can execute from three-point land, the Sun Devils will have a good shot at taking this one. However, it will be a tall task with Colorado suiting up on Senior Night for its last home game of the season. Tip-off is at 6:30 and ESPNU has the broadcast.
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