Tipoff: 9 p.m. MT/11 p.m. ET
Television/Radio: Pac-12 Networks/Arizona Sports 98.7
Arizona State Update: Herb Sendek's squad sits at 4-6 in the Pac-12 and in eighth place in the league. The Sun Devils have won four of their last six games, including victories over Colorado, Oregon State and Arizona. ASU is led in scoring my Shaquille McKissic's 11.0 points per game average.
Friday night in Pullman, the Sun Devils will be looking for just their second road victory of the season. ASU did not win a conference game on the road, with their only victory coming over California 79-44. Emerging over the past four games has been freshman point guard Tra Holder, who is averaging 12.3 points and 5.3 assists per game in his last four outings. Holder has shown more confidence both as a facilitator as well as a shooter.
Washington State Update 10-13 (4-7): Former Oregon head coach and Pac-12 Networks analyst Ernie Kent has done a nice job in his first season in Pullman. The Cougars are 4-7 in conference play, a game ahead of rival Washington. Washington State is 2-2 at home in Pac-12 play.
Washington State is led by senior guard DaVonte Lacy, who leads the team with 16.9 points per game. Forward Josh Hawkinson is averaging 15.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. The sophomore has posted a double-double in his last four games and shoots 84 percent from the free throw line.
Eric Jacobsen vs. Josh Hawkinson: Jacobsen has had a slow start to Pac-12 play and he draws a tough assignment tonight. Hawkinson, on paper, is one of the best forwards in the Pac-12. He matches up size wise (6-foot-10, 245 pounds) well with Jacobsen and he is a rebounding machine.
Jacobsen must stay out of foul trouble because ASU really does not have another big man that can physically play with Hawkinson.
Key Stat: 1
That is the number of road victories for ASU, as I eluded to above. Away from Wells Fargo Arena, the Sun Devils have lost by five (twice), one, seven, one, three and eight. The Sun Devils have had trouble closing out games away from home and Washington State is a team that plays hard for its new head coach. ASU has to make the plays down the stretch to win games.
Prediction: WSU 72, ASU 68