Preview: No. 21 Arizona State Versus Colorado
By TJ Mathewson // Men’s Basketball Beat Writer for Blaze Sports
TEMPE, Ariz. — After starting the season undefeated in non-conference play, No. 21 Arizona State (15-5, 3-5 PAC-12) has followed an interesting trend come conference play.
Lose the weekday game, and then win the weekend game. ASU almost managed to break that trend Thursday versus Utah, but the Utes’ Sedrick Barefield(17 points, game-tying 3-pointer in regulation and go-ahead 3-pointer in OT) wouldn’t let that happen.
ASU gets a redemption shot at Colorado (12-9, 4-5 PAC-12) Saturday. The Sun Devils dropped their first matchup versus the Buffaloes in Boulder 90-81 in OT which dropped then-No. 4 ASU to 0-2 in PAC-12 play.
That first game against the Buffs was the epitome of playing on the road in conference play. Low shooting percentages (ASU shot only 35.5%) and tough foul calls (whistled for 27 fouls) were prominent.
Keeping McKinley Wright (19 points in first meeting), George King (18 points) and Namon Wright (19 points) contained will go a long way to help ASU beat Colorado the second time around.
ASU blitzed the Buffs in the first matchup, jumping out to a quick 15-3 lead, but watched their lead shrink down to 34-29 at halftime.
Despite only shooting 34% in the second half and allowing Colorado to shoot 55%, ASU managed to push the game to OT with a clutch offensive rebound and dunk by sophomore forward Mickey Mitchell.
Colorado then took the lead in OT and never looked back.
The Buffs are coming off a tough 80-71 loss in Tucson to No. 11 Arizona. A game that they kept close at the half (30-30 tie) but allowed 50 second-half points to the Wildcats to seal their fate.
While Colorado leads the all-time series with ASU 6-5 since it joined the PAC-12, the Sun Devils have won four of the last five matchups in Tempe, that lone loss coming in 2012.
Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. MST at Wells Fargo Arena.
TJ Mathewson is a beat writer for Blaze Sports covering ASU Men’s Basketball. You can reach out to him at email@example.com or follow TJ on Twitter @TJMathewson.