The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks and the Arizona State Sun Devils meet Thursday in college basketball action from ASU Wells Fargo Arena. Northern Arizona is 0-1 so far this year following an opener loss to Michigan State. As for Arizona State, they beat Tarleton State in their 2022-23 opener. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Northern Arizona is coming off a rough season in 2021-22, going just 9-23 overall and 5-15 in Big Sky Conference play. The Lumberjacks landed in last place with that effort, and lost to Eastern Washington in the first round of the conference tourney.
In their first action of the 2022-23 season back on Monday versus Michigan State, the Lumberjacks scored just 20 points in the first half. Northern Arizona got better from there but still lost 73-55. Leading scorer Jalen Cone doubled up on 20 points and 10 boards.
Over on the Arizona State side, they had a pretty sub-par run last year at 14-17 overall and 10-10 in Pac-12 Conference play. The Sun Devils finished four spots out of the basement in the standings, and lost to Stanford in the first round of the conference tournament.
Arizona State was a little underwhelming versus Tarleton State in their Monday opener but still got the win. The Sun Devils scored 32 points in the first and 30 in the second for a 62-59 victory. Frankie Collins managed 21 points with four assists and three boards.
PICK: I’m going to take a stab on Northern Arizona. Probably not going near it, though. The Lumberjacks were cold against Michigan State in their opener with just 31.7 percent shooting from the field and 8-of-30 (26.7 percent) from 3-point range. That said, Arizona State had a pretty ugly win themselves with 33.9 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from outside the arc. The Sun Devils did bag 54 rebounds, though. All things considered, if Northern AZ can shoot a little better I think they can keep up.