ASU Basketball: Sun Devils return home for critical matchup with Stanford

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Everything you need to know for Arizona State's matchup Wednesday night against Stanford.

Fresh off a 23-point drubbing at the hands of Utah, the Sun Devils return home to the friendly confines of Wells Fargo Arena for their second matchup with the Stanford Cardinal.

The Cardinal are currently one game ahead of the Sun Devils in the Pac-12 standings and Stanford is riding a three-game winning streak as it continues to push for the NCAA tournament.

Here is your game preview for tonight's contest.

Tipoff: 9 p.m. MST/11 p.m. EST

TV/Radio: ESPNU/ 860 AM

Previous Meeting: February 1st, 2014 (Stanford wins 76-70)

Stanford Update

The Cardinal are currently riding a three-game winning streak and have vaulted themselves back into tournament contention. Stanford picked up its best victory of the season on Saturday when it upset No. 23 UCLA at home. The Cardinal are 5-2 in their last seven games with those two losses coming by a combined seven points.

The Cardinal are led by point guard Chasson Randle, who scored 26 points and had four rebounds against UCLA. Over his last five games, Randle is averaging 18.8 points per game. The Cardinal have four players who average double figures in scoring and five players who average over 7.0 PPG.

Arizona State Update

The Sun Devils are coming off arguably their worst week of the season, losing to Colorado and Utah by a combined 32 points. Arizona State mustered just 52 points against Colorado and for the week shot just 31-percent from the field. Jermaine Marshall was 6-for-23 from the field and scored a combined 14 points against the Rocky Mountain schools.

The Sun Devils currently have an RPI of 32, meaning they are firmly in the NCAA tournament with four games left. However, Arizona State plays three of its remaining four games against teams with an RPI of 51 or higher.

Key Matchup

Dwight Powell vs. Eric Jacobsen/Jonathan Gilling: The Sun Devils did a decent job against Powell in their 76-70 defeat to the Cardinal earlier this season. Powell scored a game-high 28 points, however it took him 19 shots to get those points. Against Powell, Jacobsen and Gilling combined for just two points and seven rebounds, shooting 0-7 from the field.

The Sun Devils have struggled against athletic power forwards this season. Powell is one of the best forwards in the conference and against Arizona State he went 10-12 from the free throw line. Arizona State needs to find a way to slow down Powell and make him work in the paint. More importantly, the Sun Devils need a better contribution from the duo of Jacobsen and Gilling.

Notes

  • Over his last 18 games, Shaquille McKissic is averaging 10.8 PPG and 5.8 RPG while shooting 50% from the field.
  • Over his last three games against Arizona State, Dwight Powell is averaging 24.3 PPG and 8.0 RPG (via Doug Haller).
  • Since entering the game against Arizona on January 16, Eric Jacobsen is 13-16 from the free throw line.
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