Arizona St., Colorado meet in early Pac-12 battle

Arizona St., Colorado meet in early Pac-12 battle

Arizona State visits Colorado on Thursday night for what will be another pre-Christmas Pac-12 opener for each team.

This is the third season that Pac-12 teams have been scheduled to play conference games in December after the league expanded to a 20-game slate.

“In a perfect world, you want all (conference games) together,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said, via Buffzone. “I don’t think any coach in America wants to play a league game (in) December.

“But by going to a 20-game league schedule, and looking at the calendar, and having travel partners to get to this part of the country, we have to do it. I get it.”

The Buffaloes (4-3) are coming off a 65-62 home victory against Yale on Sunday.

KJ Simpson leads Colorado with a 17.1 point average. He’s also grabbing 5.3 rebounds per game.

Tristan da Silva (12.1 points) and J’Vonne Hadley (10.4 points) are the other double-figure scorers for the Buffaloes. Hadley also is averaging a team-best 8.0 rebounds.

The Sun Devils (6-1), who are outscoring opponents 74.0 to 59.7, will be seeking their fifth straight win.

Arizona St. is 2-0 at neutral sites but dropped its only road game, a 67-66 overtime loss at Texas Southern on Nov. 13.

“We gotta prove that we can go away from (home) and win a basketball game,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “We tried to prepare. Both of our closed scrimmages were on the road this year, purposely, because we knew we had three true road games left here in the month of December to get ready for.”

The Sun Devils are led by DJ Horne (13.1 points, 5.3 rebounds) and Frankie Collins (12.9, 4.9, 5.1 assists).

Devan Cambridge (9.4 points, 5.7 rebounds) and Warren Washington (8.3 points, 6.7 rebounds) also contribute greatly to ASU’s attack.

ASU won the last meeting, 82-65 at Boulder, Colo., on Feb. 24, to snap a five-game losing streak in the series.

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