Relieved to have their four-game losing streak behind them, the Arizona State Sun Devils enters Saturday’s matchup against the visiting Oregon Ducks with a fresh perspective.
Arizona State (16-7, 7-5 Pac-12) used a strong second half to beat Oregon State 68-57 for its first win since Jan. 14. Guard Desmond Cambridge Jr. scored 18 points, Devan Cambridge added 14 points and six rebounds, and Frankie Collins chipped in 13 points.
Guard DJ Horne returned to the lineup following a one-game suspension (conduct detrimental to the team) and had five points, two rebounds and two assists in 31 minutes.
Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley was encouraged after his team outscored Oregon State 37-22 in the second half, calling the game “a reintroduction to winning and knowing how to win and close an opponent out. I’m hoping that there’s going to be a carryover effect now that we can all breathe.”
Arizona State has played well at home, winning 12 of its last 15 games at Desert Financial Arena. The Sun Devils are seeking a season sweep against Oregon (13-10, 7-5) after beating the Ducks 90-73 last month in Eugene.
Oregon had won four of five before losing 91-76 to No. 5 Arizona on Thursday. The Ducks struggled to contain Wildcats forward Azuolas Tubelis, who scored a career-high 40 points and had nine rebounds, three steals and three assists.
Will Richardson had 22 points to lead the Ducks, who face an uphill battle to claim an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Oregon allowed 50 points in the first half against Arizona, which shot 53.4 percent from the field overall.
“I don’t think we played hard enough,” Richardson said after the game. “The loose balls, the 50-50 balls, we got outrebounded. We’ve got to come with a lot more grit next game.”
One key will be keeping big man N’Faly Dante on the floor. The 6-foot-11 center averages 13 points and 7.5 rebounds but was sidelined with early foul trouble against Arizona.
The Ducks will also need to find a way to slow down Desmond Cambridge Jr., who has scored at least 15 points in seven straight games.
–Field Level Media