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3-2-1, basketball: The Daily’s primer on Arizona State and Arizona

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3-2-1, basketball: The Daily’s primer on Arizona State and Arizona

Junior point guard Aari McDonald drives to the rim against Stanford on Jan. 13 2019.


Read up on No. 18 Arizona State and No. 21 Arizona before the Washington women’s basketball team takes on the Sun Devils and Wildcats this weekend.

3 numbers to know

17.1: Arizona State is outpacing everyone in the Pac-12 on the offensive glass, pulling down 17.1 offensive rebounds per game to lead the conference. The main question is what the Sun Devils can do with them. In a win over USC two weeks ago, ASU scored 19 second-chance points, nearly a third of its total 63. Last weekend, though, the Sun Devils combined for just nine total second-chance points in two games.

25.9%: ASU is nearly the best in the conference when it comes to shutting down opponents from distance, with opposing teams shooting just 25.9% from beyond the arc. In the Sun Devils’ upset over No. 3 Oregon State, the Beavers went an ice-cold 2-for-20 from three-point range.

49.6: Statistically speaking, Arizona’s defense is technically the best in the Pac-12, allowing just 49.6 points per game. More than a bit of that, though, can be attributed to a nonconference schedule that would be generously considered lax. Facing the likes of Monmouth, Prairie View A&M, and Chicago State, Arizona allowed more than 50 points just twice before Pac-12 play began. In the past three games (all losses), the Wildcats have allowed at least 60 points three times.

2 players to watch

Ja’Tavia Tapley - Arizona State forward

All the senior transfer from USC has done in her first (and only) year in Tempe is lead the Sun Devils in points per game (11.9), rebounds per game (7.1), and steals (22). In Arizona State’s two upsets over Oregon and Oregon State, Tapley scored 16 and 14 points, respectively.

Aari McDonald - Arizona guard

The former UW point guard has grown into one of the premier scoring threats in the country, leading the Pac-12 in scoring with 20.1 points per game. She’s only been held under 15 points three times this season and has eclipsed 20 in three of Arizona’s first five Pac-12 matchups. She’s been most dangerous driving to the rim and has more made free throws (74) than any other Pac-12 player has free throws attempted.

1 recap of last week

The Oregon schools — ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the country — went to the desert and got way more than they bargained for. Arizona State rallied with a 30-point fourth quarter to beat Oregon 72-66, then put the clamps down on Oregon State in 55-47 win. For its part, Arizona came oh-so-close to springing its own upsets, losing 63-61 to OSU on a last-second shot, and falling 71-64 to Oregon.

Reach Managing Editor Josh Kirshenbaum at Twitter: @J_Kirshenbaum

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