(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devils look to add another one to the win column Saturday as the Sun Devils travel to Reed Park in College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies at 12 p.m.
The Sun Devils are coming off a 77-55 home victory against the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, where the team squandered a 15-point deficit in what seemed to be a complete-team effort. The Sun Devils showed solid production from the majority of its key players, something that has been a rarity so far this season, as four players, Eric Jacobsen, Gerry Blakes, Kodi Justice and Bo Barnes, all scored in double-figures.
The Aggies come off a thrilling 66-63 victory, in which Texas A&M just edged out Sam Houston State with a last-second, three-pointer from junior guard Danuel House to outlast the Bearkats and extend the team’s winning streak to four games.
This season, Texas A&M has limited opponents to just 36.1 percent shooting from the floor.
In the series history with the Aggies, with the first game coming in 1987, Arizona State has collected all four wins, and both teams made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season. Arizona State will look to add a fifth all-time series win in Reed Park on Saturday.
Three Keys to Game
This Texas A&M squad is forcing 16 turnovers a game, an area that continues to be an issue for the Sun Devils, who gave up 10 in their last contest. If the Sun Devils can’t hold on to the ball, this A&M trend could prove to be fatal for the Sun Devils, especially with small-margined victories, the threat of bad free-throw shooting and points off turnovers.
– Start out Strong
ASU got off to a slow start in first ten minutes of the UNLV game. Luckily, the Sun Devils had four players get hot to elicit the rousing comeback. However, with inconsistent production by too many Sun Devils, a slow start will be an issue for ASU down the road as other teams like A&M will take advantage and exacerbate the Sun Devils’ inability to knock down shots early with a fast-paced front-court.
– Contain Jalen Jones
A&M junior guard Jalen Jones poses a threat on both ends of the court, as he has scored in double digits in all but one contest this season to go along with 6.7 rebounds per game. ASU needs to force Jones outside the paint and clean the glass in order to diminish the points they relinquish off rebounds.
Both teams have momentum coming into this game. However, with new additions to the Aggies’ roster such House, who is averaging 13.7 points per game, and Jones, another slow start for ASU will have them scrambling to come back on the road. If ASU senior center Eric Jacobsen does not play strong interior defense as seen in the UNLV matchup, then ASU could fall to the Aggies for the first time in the series’ history.
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