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ASU Basketball: Sun Devils look to bounce back against Pepperdine

How can they take down the Waves?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tipoff: 12p.m. MT/1 p.m. CT

Television: Pac-12 Networks

ASU update (5-3):

The Sun Devils fell hard to Texas A&M Aggies last Saturday in College Station 72-71. While ASU shot the ball well and were ahead for a majority of the game, Korey Robinson sank two free throws with five seconds left to give the Aggies the victory. Tra Holder led the way with 14 points for ASU. Gerry Blakes leads the Sun Devils with 11.8 points per game, followed by Jon Gilling at 11.3 points per game. Kodi Justice has come on strong at the point guard spot, but Tra Holder had the better game against Texas A&M. Eric Jacobsen has improved a ton so far this season, averaging 10.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

Pepperdine (5-1,2-1):

The only loss for the Waves came 72-61 at the hands of Iowa. Pepperdine is 11-7 all time against the Sun Devils, led by junior forward Jeff Raines, who averages 12.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Jeremy Major is averaging 11.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. ASU is 5-0 at home this season, but Pepperdine is coming off a 72-64 win over Cal State Fullerton.

Keys to victory:

Find alternative ways to score:

Pepperdine leads the country in three-point percentage defense, letting teams shoot just 18.2 percent from behind the arc. ASU has games where they will live and die by the three-point shot with Jon Gilling and Bo Barnes. Gilling is shooting 58 percent from beyond, so ASU will need to feed Jacobsen more inside or run more motion offense to find open shots.

Active hands:

The Waves are No. 35 in the country with 16 assists per game. The Sun Devils will need to play more stout defense. They're a more talented team than Pepperdine and if they can get them in more one on one situations, it will be beneficial to creating turnovers for ASU. The way to create turnovers and those kinds of one on one situations is by having active hands in the paint to clog passing lanes.

Get to the boards:

Pepperdine is No. 51 in the country in rebounds per game. Three players average at least five boards per game for the Waves. ASU did a solid job against Texas A&M, out rebounding the Aggies 21-13. They'll need to do more of the same Saturday. If the Sun Devils can't get to the boards and allow offensive rebounds, it could be a longer afternoon for ASU.

Prediction: ASU- 76 Pepperdine- 61