Bobby Hurley and his Sun Devils are looking for revenge against Sean Miller’s Wildcats.
The Wildcats beat the Sun Devils in the first game of conference play over 6 weeks ago. This time, the Wildcats are heading to Arizona State’s Wells Fargo Arena, recently nicknamed “The Bank.”
The last time the instate rivals met was an offensive battle. Freshman standout Deandre Ayton scored 23 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. Alonzo Trier had a rough start to the first Territorial Cup matchup this season but tallied 23 points by the end of the game.
Guard Tra Holder led Sun Devil scorers with 31 points. Guards Shannon Evans and Cody Justice’s shooting was off during the last match up, the duo went 2 for 14 on 3-pointers, which is unusual from the guards who are usually on target in the 3-point range.
The No. 17 Wildcats are coming off a win against USC while the No. 25 Sun Devils are on a roll, coming off of a three-game win streak against Washington State, UCLA and USC.
This go around, defensive stops will determine the game’s outcome. Offense is a bright spot for both teams, both have accurate shooters and ASU has been precise from the 3-point range, while Arizona’s 7-foot-1 center Deandre Ayton has been dominating the post.
ASU’s offense peaked, ranking 14th in the country. To combat ASU’s hot offense, teams began running a zone defense to give the Sun Devils space to move the ball, but maintain control of key areas on the court. The Wildcats do not typically run zone defense under head coach Sean Miller, but in order to stop the quick, undersized Sun Devil guards, a zone defense might be necessary.
The Sun Devils will have trouble with Ayton and the post. The ASU roster lacks overall size and keeping up with Ayton and Dusan Ristic based on height alone will be a difficult task.
Another thing that could decide this rivalry game? Free throw shooting. The Sun Devils are keen on drawing fouls, so being able to convert free throws to points could decide this game.
One last thing that could could effect the outcome is the crowd atmosphere at “The Bank.” ASU’s hot start to the season has attracted more fans than ever before which could be a factor in tonight’s game. On the contrary, ASU being considered actual competition to the dominant Wildcats will likely fire up the Wildcat fans, making it a good game.
The Wildcats handed Arizona State their first loss of the 2018 season, beating them 84-78.
ASU wins in overtime, 89-86. ASU’s guards will shoot 3-pointers all night. Free throws will be a big factor in this game.