Arizona-ASU Men's Basketball Preview

Feb. 21, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Gilbert Arenas hopes to continue his hot play and help Arizona maintain itsrecent mastery of Arizona State when the in-state rivals meet Wednesday inTempe.

Arenas was named Pac-10 player of the week after averaging 28.5 points andshooting 63 percent (17-of-27) over his last two games. The sophomore guard,who also made 9-of-12 from 3-point range during the week, joined Sean Lampleyof California as the only players in the conference to be honored twice thisseason.

Arenas scored 27 points in Arizona's 105-61 dismantling of SouthernCalifornia on Saturday. The win kept the eighth-ranked Wildcats (18-7, 10-3)within 1 1/2 games of No. 1 Stanford for first place in the Pac-10.

The rivalry in the desert has barely been one lately. The Wildcats havetaken 11 straight against the Sun Devils since March 11, 1995, and have won 25of the last 29 meetings to build a 125-72 advantage in the all-time series.

These teams met on Jan. 24 and Arizona came away with an 86-75 victorybehind 23 points from Arenas and 22 from backcourt mate Jason Gardner, who hit6-of-8 from 3-point range.

The Wildcats are one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the Pac-10,second in the conference at 36.5 percent. In Saturday's win, Arizona made14-of-19 from behind the arc.

'We were patient and waited for the shot,' coach Lute Olson said. 'Whenwe do that, we play well. It was a case of we couldn't miss a shot.'

The win marked the third time this season Arizona broke 100 points.

The Wildcats are second in the Pac-10 in scoring at 81.4 points per game,most likely a result of their patience on offense. They are first in theconference in assists and have had at least 20 in four of the last five games.

Arizona is hoping to end its three-game road trip on a strong note aftersplitting the first two games, having lost 79-77 in overtime to UCLA onThursday. The Wildcats are just 3-3 on the road this season and play three oftheir last five games away from the McKale Center.

The Sun Devils (11-13, 3-10) have lost three of four after falling to UCLA73-68 Saturday.

Arizona State's woes can hardly be blamed on Awvee Storey, who is averaging14.8 points and 11.5 rebounds.

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