Riding a three-game winning streak, ASU basketball hopes to continue its recent success Saturday in Los Angeles against the Trojans.
Arizona State is on the verge of achieving something yet to be done in Bobby Hurley‘s tenure -earn a road sweep.
On Thursday, the Sun Devils upended UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, extending their winning streak to three games. In the win, the scoring effort was widespread, as four players ended in double figures and eight finished with more than five points.
Now, ASU sits 14-5 (5-2 conference) and tied for second in the Pac-12 standings behind only Washington.
Standing in the way of Arizona State’s road sweep is USC.
Though the Trojans have been disappointing this season, Thursday evening was an impressive showing. USC cruised past Arizona with a final score of 80-57. It marked the Trojans’ second win in a row.
Before that, however, they were losers of back-to-back games to Oregon State and Oregon. But those performances were far from USC’s worst losses of the year.
In the non-conference, USC fell to a Santa Clara team which recently lost to Gonzaga by 49 points. The Trojans also lost 96-61 to TCU in a pseudo-home game at the Staples Center.
Though USC has lost eight times already this year, only two of those occurred in Pac-12 play. Because of this, USC is currently fourth in the league standings.
Individually, Bennie Boatwright has been the leader for the Trojans. A senior forward, Boatwright is averaging a team-high 17.0 points per game while also averaging 6.7 rebounds per game. His 74.2 percent clip from the free-throw line is also a team-high.
Another key player for USC is Kevin Porter Jr. The freshman’s minutes have been limited this season due to a thigh injury and two-game suspension, but he returned Thursday and played well in the process. He shot 4-of-7 from the field and finished with 14 points in the Trojans’ win over Arizona.
At the helm for USC is Andy Enfield. The former Florida Gulf Coast coach is 105-84 overall and 40-56 in Pac-12 play during his tenure. Since 2014, this matchup has been back-and-forth. Over the last seven games between USC and ASU, the Sun Devils hold a 4-3 advantage.
This game will have major implications for both teams. For ASU, a win could further bolster its resume. For the Trojans, a sweep of the Arizona schools could help them gain momentum at the right time.
Saturday’s game at the Galen Center will begin at 6 p.m. The game can be watched live on ESPN2.