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ASU Basketball: Sun Devils look to get back on track at USC

Arizona State returns to action tonight in Los Angeles in its first game since Sunday's loss against rival Arizona.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State Sun Devils return to the road tonight after a four- game homestand, still searching for their first win of the Pac-12 season. This will be the first of two games in Los Angeles this week for Bobby Hurley's team.

Arizona State is coming off a 12-point loss against Arizona, a game which saw Hurley ejected for arguing multiple foul calls in the final minute of the game. The loss broke a four-game winning streak for the Sun Devils.

Next up is a team that has overachieved so far in the 2015-16 season - the USC Trojans.

Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. MT

Television: Pac-12 Networks

Arizona State Update (10-4, 0-1 Pac-12):

The maroon and gold will need to avoid the long scoreless stretches that plagued them on Sunday if they want to get out of the Galen Center with a win. USC leads the conference in made three-pointers and this one promises to be a high scoring affair.

ASU has won five of their last six regular season games against the Trojans, but none of those teams have been as talented as this year's squad. Andy Enfield's rebuild project is a year ahead of schedule, benefiting from some terrific play out of Katin Reinhardt and Nikola Jovanovic. Hurley will likely put Gerry Blakes and Eric Jacobsen on that duo in hopes of limiting an offensive explosion.

USC Update (12-3, 1-1 Pac-12):

The Trojans are coming off a heartbreaking, 87-85 defeat on Sunday at Washington, but the team was rolling up until that game. While their non-conference schedule wasn't exactly murderers row, the only other defeats came against No. 23 Xavier and a sneaky-good Monmouth team. Enfield has a crazy six players averaging in double figures, with Reinhardt leading the way at 13.1 points per game.

Junior guard Julian Jacobs is expected to play tonight after re-aggravating a left ankle injury in Seattle. He is the Pac-12's leader in assists, and without him USC struggles to keep its turnover numbers down.

Keys to victory:

1. Rely on Holder

If Arizona State does run into those big droughts on the offensive end of the floor, Hurley needs to call some isolation plays for Holder. Whether those are in the form of drives to the basket or screens to open up a look at the three-point line, Holder has been one of the only Sun Devils to score with consistency lately. Getting him more looks will be a major key tonight.

2. Get Goodman involved

Not much was expected out of Savon Goodman in his first game back against the Wildcats, but he didn't exactly receive many great looks for scoring opportunities. With an offensive skill set as diverse as his, Goodman needs to receive the ball in better spots against the Trojans.

3. Pressure Jacobs

Arizona State should look to apply lots of pressure on Jacobs and force him to test out that gimpy ankle. The SC offense will run through him for the majority of the night, and the more the Sun Devils can slow him down and control the game's tempo, the better.

Prediction: USC - 80, Arizona State - 75