Arizona-Arizona State Preview

Jan. 23, 2001

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Pac-10 player of the week Gilbert Arenas looks to continue his red-hotshooting Wednesday when 12th-ranked Arizona faces struggling rival ArizonaState at the McKale Center.

Arenas earned conference honors after leading the Wildcats (12-5, 5-1Pac-10) to a pair of impressive wins this past week. The sophomore guard had ateam-high 18 points Thursday in a 71-58 win over Southern California beforescoring 18 of his 22 points in the second half Saturday to help Arizona rallyfor an 88-63 victory over UCLA.

He shot 58 percent from the field for the week and hit 7-of-12 3-pointers,pushing his season percentage from beyond the arc to a team-best 40.2(37-for-92).

One of the best games of his career came in the last meeting with ArizonaState, as he scored a career-high 29 points in an 89-82 victory on Feb. 26,2000. It was the Wildcats' 10th straight win in the series since 1996, givingthem a 124-72 all-time advantage.

Arenas also has been a key factor in Arizona's outstanding defense of late.During the current four-game winning streak, the Wildcats have held opponentsto an average of 59.0 points and 32.6 percent shooting.

'I think our team defense has been key,' junior forward Richard Jeffersonsaid. 'Your team defense leads to offense.'

Arizona State's defense has been awful in conference action, surrendering anaverage of 82.5 points in losing all six games since Pac-10 play began. The SunDevils (8-9, 0-6) have not won since a 91-78 victory over Charlotte on Dec. 30.

Awvee Storey averages team highs of 13.6 points and 9.3 rebounds for ArizonaState. The junior forward has been impressive on the boards lately, averaging14.2 rebounds over the last five games.

The 6-foot-6 Storey may find rebounding a bit tougher against the sizablefrontline of Arizona, led by 7-1 center Loren Woods, who has averaged 9.0boards in his last four outings.

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