Skip to main content

Sun Devils Return Home To Face Oregon In Pac-12 Showdown

The Arizona State Sun Devils face a tough challenge at home on Thursday as they welcome the Oregon Ducks to Desert Financial Arena.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Who: Oregon Ducks at Arizona State Sun Devils
When: Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. Arizona time
Where: Desert Financial Arena, Tempe, Ariz.
Spread (via SI Sportsbook): Oregon (-4.5)

It has been a challenging past couple weeks for the Arizona State Sun Devils. And it might not get any easier this week.

The Sun Devils host the Oregon Ducks for a Pac-12 showdown on Thursday night. ASU enters with a less than impressive 8-15 (4-9 Pac-12) record, while Oregon sits tied for second in the Pac-12 conference at 17-8 (10-4).

With the gap in those records, one would assume the Ducks made short work of the Sun Devils when the teams met earlier this season. However, that assumption would be wrong.

Arizona State pulled off a hard-fought 69-67 overtime win over Oregon on Dec. 5. Even more impressive was the fact that it came at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. For head coach Bobby Hurley, the victory signified an important moment in the team's season.

"We played them pretty well, it was kind of the turning point for our season, the last time we played Oregon," Hurley said. "Because things were not going well and then we played considerably better from that game on."

And while the Sun Devils have shown their true potential at times. So have the miscues followed them this season. 

Most recently, Arizona State comes off a road trip to the Pacific Northwest. The team split its games, struggling in a 87-64 loss to Washington and bouncing back with a 58-55 win over Washington State. That two-game road trip came up on the heels of a grueling stretch of games. 

The Sun Devils played five straight games against ranked opponents, with a total of four losses coming to USC and Arizona. There was the signature triple-overtime win over UCLA sandwiched between the losses.

"It's crazy how the season works, I mean we were at the top of the mountain after the UCLA game," Hurley said. "Like five days later, we're in Seattle and wondering what the heck happened."

Though the team did get some much-needed time for recovery, following their win over Washington State on Saturday. Unlike their last homestand, which feature three games, they had no Monday game. That gave the players a chance to focus on rest and recovery.

"Our schedule lately has been tough," forward Kimani Lawrence said. "A lot of games back-to-back with short turnarounds, so being able to be in one spot, one place for a little bit, it definitely helps with the recovery process.”

And that might help the Sun Devils as they face an Oregon team that has played thee games in the last week. The Ducks eked out a 62-59 win over Washington State on Monday night. That came just after a surprising 78-64 loss to Cal at home on Saturday.

Since starting 0-2 in Pac-12 games, the Ducks have won 10 of their last 12 conference bouts. That seats them right where they want to be as the Pac-12 Tournament quickly approaches.

For Arizona State, putting an end to that momentum will be priority number one. 

"They're kind of like us too, with a lot of new players" Hurley said. "Their team is coming together and playing better than they were earlier in the season. It's going to be a tough game."