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@SunDevilHoops Hosts USC Saturday at 5 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

Jan 8, 2021
Alonzo Verge had 25 points and seven rebounds vs. UCLA on Jan. 7.

2020-21 Sun Devil Men's Basketball Recaps | How to Watch Pac 12 Networks | PDF: ASU Quick Notes vs. USC (Jan. 9, 2021) | ASU vs. USC Series History | PDF: Arizona State Sun Devil Stats (4-4; 1-1)

NEXT UP: The Sun Devil men's basketball team (4-4; 1-1) meets up with the USC Trojans on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 5 p.m. on Pac-12 Network with Ted Robinson and Ros Gold-Onwude on the call. After a 21-day layoff ASU lost a tough 81-75 overtime game to UCLA late Thursday despite being without Jalen Graham (mononucleosis), Jaelen House and Taeshon Cherry (COVID-19 protocols) and Remy Martin (grandfather funeral). Alonzo Verge Jr. led ASU with 25 points and seven rebounds, while Josh Christopher added 22 points and 11 rebounds and Marcus Bagley 11 points and 11 rebounds in his first action since Dec. 3. There were 19 ties and six lead changes, but the lack of ASU depth was too much to overcome as two Sun Devils fouled out (only one Bruin had four fouls) and UCLA's bench outscored ASU's 25-4. ASU had four players notch at least 41 minutes. Tim Healey and Kyle Dodd have the call on the Sun Devil Radio Network, as ASU is now 18-6 after a loss the past three seasons, including 2-1 this year.

WHY THE 21-DAY LAYOFF?: ASU already knew its Dec. 18 game with Incarnate Word was off but then had to postpone a home game with Utah (Dec. 22) and the road trip to WSU (12/31) and UW (1/2) due to COVID reasons. No one is keeping score here, but to simply get the facts correct the first two games were because of opponent reasons and the UW/WSU games were Sun Devil reasons.

PEOPLE ASK, SO HERE ARE THE DETAILS: Arizona State has not had its full roster for any game this year. Kimani Lawrence missed the first two games after having knee surgery in the fall. Alonzo Verge Jr. missed the next two games (non-injury/non-discipline). In that second game, a win at Cal on Dec. 3, Marcus Bagley inured his lower leg and then missed the next four games, returning to action -- after four other games were canceled/postponed -- on Jan. 7 vs. UCLA. Against UCLA, it was announced Jalen Graham would be out for mononucleosis, and that Jaelen House and Taeshon Cherry (non-injury/non-discipline) and Remy Martin (grandfather funeral) would also miss that tilt.

SERIES STATS: ASU has won 11 of the past 12 in Tempe including the past seven...the teams have split the last 10 meetings with every game being decided by 10 points or less and six by three points or fewer....ASU has won the past seven games in Tempe vs. USC.

THROUGH EIGHT: Freshman Josh Christopher is averaging 17.5 ppg. and is shooting 30-of-34 (.882) from the free throw line...Remy Martin is shooting 39-of-77 (.506) from the field...Marcus Bagley leads the team in rebounding at 6.8 per game in his four games...Jaelen House has made five three-pointers after hitting 16 all last year...ASU is +5.9 in turnover margin this year after leading the league at +3.19 last season...Jalen Graham has 42 blocks in 35 career games.

LAST MEETING -- ASU 66, USC 64 (FEB. 8, 2020): A strong defensive performance in the second half and Remy Martin's game-winner gave ASU a 66-64 comeback win over USC Trojans.  The Sun Devils (15-8, 6-4 Pac-12) made only one of their last 16 field goals, but the one make was Martin's jumper that rolled a couple of times around the rim before going in with 16 seconds remaining. Martin led all Sun Devils with a game-high of 22 points. Alonzo Verge Jr., who accounted for a game-high 26 points off the bench in ASU's win over UCLA on Thursday, came back with 16 more in Saturday's win.  After going down by as much as 13 points, Arizona State cut it to an eight-point game, trailing 40-32 at the half. s to fall in the second half, the Sun Devils were able to make the most of their opportunities at the free throw line where they made 80 percent (16-20) of their attempts, including a 12-of-15 effort in the second half. Late in the game the Sun Devils were able to erase a five-point deficit in the space of seven seconds thanks to a pair of free throws by Verge Jr. and three by Martin, who would put the finishing touches on ASU's 7-0 run to close out the game with his game-winning jumper.

ASU 66, USC 64/Feb. 8, 2020
ASU 80, USC 77/Feb. 8, 2018
ASU 83, USC 82/Feb. 26, 2017
ASU 74, #23 USC 67/Feb. 12, 2016
ASU 64, USC 59/Feb. 22, 2015
ASU 98, USC 93 (OT)/Jan. 24, 2013
ASU 56, USC 52/Feb. 25, 2012
USC 63, ASU 61/Jan. 27, 2011
ASU 59, USC 54/Mar. 4, 2010
ASU 65, USC 53/Feb. 15, 2009
ASU 80, USC 66/Mar. 1, 2008
ASU 68, #22 USC 58/Feb. 18, 2007

THIS IS US: ASU has 27 wins (12 on the road) when trailing at the half under Bobby Hurley in six seasons, after going 12-64 (.157) the previous five seasons. In the Remy Martin-era it did it seven times in 2017-18 six times in 2018-19 and five times last year. ASU trailed Arizona 37-15 with just over five minutes remaining in the first half before closing the gap to 43-30 at the half and then scored the first 10 points of second half. The 22-point comeback matches what is believed to the biggest in Pac-12 history. On Feb. 8 ASU trailed USC by 13 with 5:34 left in the first half before cutting the gap to 40-32 at the half and then winning 66-64 despite leading for just 5:57 of the game.

ASU was 9-3 in games of five oints or less last season and 8-2 in Pac-12 two-possession tilts (six points or less). It is 12-4 in games of six points or less the past two seasons.


AP PRESEASON AA: Remy Martin earned Associated Press Preseason All-America honors, the second Sun Devil to earn the honor (Ike Diogu in 2003-04). Remy becomes just the fourth Pac-12 player to earn the honor in the past dozen seasons. Also on the team were Luke Garza (Iowa), Jared Butler (Baylor), Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State), Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois) and Corey Kispert (Gonzaga).

MICKEY D NEWS: How big is it that freshman Josh Christopher is a McDonald's All-American? He is just the sixth Sun Devil to earn the honor, and the first since James Harden in 2007. Josh is one of just three 2020 McDonald All-Americans in the Pac-12 this year, joining Evan Mobley of USC and Ziaire Williams of Stanford.

Josh Christopher, 2020
James Harden, 2007
Eric Boateng, 2005 (transferred from Duke)
Jamal Faulkner, 1989
Chris Sandle, 1984
Byron Scott, 1979

VERGE SURGE: Alonzo Verge Jr., the 2020 Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year, averaged 16.8 ppg. off the bench (19 games) last year which led the nation. After averaging 6.2 points, going 1-of-9 from the three-point stripe and 11-of-45 (.244) from the field in his first five Pac-12 games, Verge averaged 17.3 ppg., was 87-of-176 (.494) from the field and 37-of-52 (.712) from the foul line in the final 13. In ASU's seven-game win streak he averaged 20.6 ppg., was 53-of-100 (.530) from the field, 7-of-18 (.389) from three and 31-of-43 (.721) from the free throw line.

13, Washington over Oregon State (13-0)
12, UCLA over Stanford (12-1)
11, Arizona State over USC (11-1)
11, Arizona State over Oregon State (11-1)
11, Arizona over Stanford (11-1)
11, Arizona over Oregon State (11-1)
11, California over Oregon State (11-1)
11, Stanford over Washington State (11-1)
11, UCLA over Oregon State (11-1)
11, UCLA over Washington State (11-1)
CLOSE TILT NOTE: STATS has come up with a wild note on this game, as the matchup's nine-straight games decided by seven points or less is tied for the most by a conference opponent at one site is tied for the tops in the nation. The streak started on March 4, 2010. Only Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside can match the active mark.