Men's Basketball Closes Out Regular-Season Against Arizona State
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team looks to close out the regular-season on a good note as it welcomes in Arizona State on Saturday, March 6, for a Noon (PT) tip-off on FS1.
Jim Kozimor will have the call in the Saturday matinee match-up between the Runnin' Utes and Sun Devils while Dan Belluomini serve as the analyst. This will be the first meeting between the two teams after a handful of postponements. Saturday's winner will also be the No. 7 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament while the latter gets the No. 8 seed.
SCOUTING THE SUN DEVILS
Arizona State was riding a three-game winning-streak before its loss to Colorado this past Thursday – including a game-winner from Remy Martin, who was held in check by the Buffs in the loss. Holland Woods led the Sun Devils with 15 points while Kimani Lawrence added 10 points and five boards.
Martin currently leads the Pac-12 and 21st in the country in scoring at 20.5 points per game while starting in all 20 games he's played in. With Josh Christopher out, Alonzo Verge Jr. is the second leading scorer for ASU averaging 12.7 points with a team-high 79 assists. Marcus Bagley saw action for the first time since Jan. 30 on Thursday, playing just under 20 minutes with seven rebounds, bringing his average to 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds through 11 games.
Kimani is averaging 8.3 points and 5.2 rebounds while Jalen Graham is averaging 8.0 points and 5.0 rebounds for the Sun Devils. Graham's .596 shooting clip is second in the Pac-12 behind Utah's Mikael Jantunen (.598).
Arizona State is second in the league in scoring offense and assists, averaging 75.5 points and 7.1 dimes. ASU's 4.6 turnover margin leads the Pac-12 and is also ranked 11th in the country while its 10.8 turnovers per game ranks 20th nationally. Meanwhile the Sun Devils have forced opponents to commit 15.41 turnovers per game – which is also tops amongst league foes.
LAST TIME OUT
In a back-and-forth battle all night, a couple of turnovers late in the game sealed the deal on its 75-70 loss to Oregon State on Wednesday. Utah shot 54.3-percent from the field to go with a .421 clip (8-of-19) from deep and 12-of-13 from the line. Wednesday night's tightly contested game between the Utes and Beavers with neither team getting a lead higher than seven as well as 19 lead changes and seven ties.
Timmy Allen led all scorers with 23 points, five rebounds and six assists on 10-of-15 shooting while Alfonso Plummer added 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting – three of which came from beyond the arc. Pelle Larsson was perfect from the field, going 3-of-3 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line for 12 points while Branden Carlson chipped in with 10 points. Mikael Jantunen was the other bug contributor with seven points, seven rebounds and three assists.
With the regular-season all-wrapped up, the Utes now head to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament (March 10-13) – which will begin on Wednesday, March 10. With Arizona State's loss on Thursday at Colorado, the winner between the Utes and Sun Devils on Saturday will determine who will be the No. 7 seed and who will be the No. 8 seed. The winner will get to be the No. 7 seed and take on No. 10 Washington, while the No. 8 seed will face No. 9 Washington State.