ASU Basketball: Devils hope to keep NCAA Tournament hopes alive with win over Washington

USA TODAY Sports

The Sun Devils may have lost their last game against Washington, but this time, they have the luxury of playing in front of their home crowd.

A win over one Washington team is great, but two would be even better.

That is what the Arizona State Sun Devils (20-7, 9-5) will be aiming for as they get ready to host the Washington Huskies (14-13, 6-8) Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena. The Huskies are just 4-6 on the road this season, including 3-5 on the road against Pac-12 opponents. The Devils, meanwhile, are 15-3 at home and have only lost to DePaul, Stanford and the Arizona Wildcats on their own floor.

ASU's most recent victory came against the Washington State Cougars where it was a lopsided contest for most of the game. One of Arizona State's biggest issues this season has been their ability to close out inferior teams, especially given their struggles from the free throw line. The Devils have shot just 62% from the charity stripe this season.

In their last meeting, which came just three weeks ago, the Devils lost to the Huskies in Seattle by a score of 96-92. ASU made just 6 of their 12 free throw attempts in that game, which turned out to be the difference in the contest.

Stopping Aziz N'Diaye, who scored 16 points on 7-8 shooting and had 10 rebounds in the last matchup between these two teams, will be key for the Sun Devils. Jordan Bachynski fouled out in that game and had just 5 rebounds. He will need to do a better job this time around. If not, senior Ruslan Pateev may be set to see more minutes.

Speaking of Pateev, he, Carrick Felix and Chris Colvin, all players that are integral parts of the Devils' rotation, are about to play their final regular season home game for the Devils on Senior Night. Expect each of them, most namely Felix, to come out and play with an unparalleled zeal. Felix has six double-doubles in the past nine games and only 9 turnovers in 335 minutes played. Look for him to continue his Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year campaign tonight against UW.

Meanwhile, freshman phenom point guard Jahii Carson seeks to continue his incredible streak as well. He will aim for his 13th 20-point game of the season tonight against Washington. He is averaging 19.2 points per game over the past 12 games. That figures to continue tonight as the last time he played Washington, he scored 32 points and dished out 5 assists in 33 minutes played on the road.

To catch the game, tune into ESPNU at 9:00 PM MST or 8:00 PST.

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