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ASU Basketball: Sun Devils will try to continue home success against Lehigh

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The maroon and gold are playing in Tempe, which is great news for the program

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Tipoff: 7p.m. MT

Television: Pac-12 Networks

ASU update (6-4): The Sun Devils have won three of their last five games, but continue to struggle on the road where they have yet to win a game. ASU lost to the Aggies by one and then were blown out by Marquette in Milwaukee. Junior JUCO transfer Gerry Blakes and local junior Eric Jacobsen continue to lead the way for the Sun Devils, averaging 13 and 11.3 points per game respectively. Jacobsen is also averaging 8.2 boards per game. ASU will try to extend its 14-game home winning streak, which is now tied for the 10th longest in the country. It's the longest such streak for the maroon and gold since the 1974-75 season.

Lehigh update (4-5): The Mountain Hawks are coming off an 80-65 loss to Quinnipiac, but a win over ASU would be the program's first over a Pac-12 opponent in its history. They are led this season by 6-foot-10 sophomore and Scottsdale, Ariz. native Tim Kempton, who is averaging 12.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Following closely behind him is 6-foot-4 guard Austin Price, adding 11.4 points per game. The team's most impressive win came in a Thanksgiving victory over the DePaul Blue Demons

Keys to victory:

Keep Lehigh off the charity stripe

This is just a good rule of thumb for basketball, but applies especially to the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh is shooting an impressive 77 percent from the line, currently good enough to rank No. 8 in the entire country. Whether its Jacobsen, Willie Atwood or Tra Holder, at least one Sun Devil has picked up two quick fouls and had to sit the rest of the half in recent games. If ASU can stay disciplined, it would go a long way toward the Sun Devils putting together a complete effort.

Limit turnovers

ASU is averaging 14 turnovers per game and had 16 against Marquette. While some are excusable with a young backcourt, its becoming a true issue for this team to keep the ball under control. Anything under 10 is what the maroon and gold should be looking for. All four losses for the Sun Devils have been less than 10-point margins, no question ASU could have another notch or two in the win column if they protected the ball a little more.

Dominate for 40 minutes

If ASU wants any chance of making the tournament, it should be winning out of conference games against lesser opponents by wide margins. That hasn't happened against teams like Colgate and Pepperdine or Bethune-Cookman. The only true blowout win of the season was an 86-50 win over Chicago State. The team has a three game stretch at home starting Saturday followed by Detroit and Harvard before Pac-12 play starts. A confidence boosting win for this group after a demoralizing loss at Marquette would go a long way for this group.

Prediction: ASU-80 Lehigh- 64