The UMass Lowell River Hawks and the Arizona State Sun Devils meet Thursday in college basketball action from ASU Wells Fargo Arena. UMass Lowell is coming off a Tuesday game versus Georgia Tech. In that one the 3-0 River Hawks powered out a three-point victory. As for Arizona State, they’re 1-1 on the season following a Saturday victory over Texas Southern. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
UMass Lowell River Hawks
The River Hawks posted a couple of blowout victories in their first two games this year. First came a 96-51 result over Rivier University. UMass Lowell’s Karin Coulibaly and Ayinde Hikim each scored 15 points in that one. Game two was another big win, this time 81-48 over Dartmouth. Hikim was the high man this time on 25 points, four rebounds and three assists.
On Tuesday versus Georgia Tech, the River Hawks overcame a 26-23 first-half deficit and scored 51 more points from there in a nice 74-71 victory. Ayinde Hikim led the team with 24 points, three rebounds and three assists. Brayden O’Conner added 18 points with five boards, and Karim Coulibaly had 16 points with nine rebounds.
Arizona State Sun Devils
Over on the Sun Devils’ side, they opened up with a tricky matchup versus Mississippi State. Arizona State scored just 18 points in the first half there, resulting in a 71-56 loss. The Sun Devils shot just 32.1 percent from the floor, 23.8 percent from 3-point range and 68 percent from the line in the defeat, also getting out-rebounded 44-31.
Game two versus Texas Southern was a better outcome for the Sun Devils, but it wasn’t exactly a dominant offensive effort. Arizona State was up 28-20 by halftime and ended up with a 63-52 victory. Leading the scoring was Frankie Collins on 13 points and six assists. Kamari Lands added 12 points as well.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’m going to try the River Hawks in this one. UMass Lowell is coming off a very nice win over Georgia Tech, shooting 41.8 percent from the field with a very important 16-of-19 (84.2 percent) from the line. The River Hawks were out-rebounded 51-45 (24-15 offensive) and shot just 2-of-15 (13.3 percent) from 3-point range however, so it wasn’t a perfect effort. Still, UMass Lowell is looking solid through three games thus far with 74 or more points scored in each.
As for Arizona State, they shot a middling 36.8 percent from the field with just 15-of-28 (53.6 percent) from the line in their last game versus Texas Southern. The Sun Devils were also out-rebounded 49-44 and had 14 turnovers in something of an ugly win. If Arizona State doesn’t improve greatly here, I doubt they’ll shake the River Hawks cover-wise. Should be a great game to check out.