At a glance: UCLA at Arizona State

UCLA (16-10, 8-5) at Arizona State (13-12, 5-7)
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 6 p.m. PT, Wells Fargo Arena
TV: ESPN2 (Dave Pasch, Bill Walton)
Radio: AM 570 (Chris Roberts, Tracy Murray)

Scouting report: ESPN College GameDay is heading to Tucson for No. 7 Arizona’s Saturday game against UCLA, but the Bruins’ tourney bubble status should keep them from overlooking Arizona State tonight. Steve Alford and company simply can’t afford to lose more than one of its final five games.

The Sun Devils have not been a particularly good team, but they are at least average in most areas and can do enough to upset more talented teams (ex: an 81-78 upset of the Wildcats on Feb. 7). However, despite its “Curtain of Distraction,” ASU has also been unable to string together two straight home wins since December, when it held off Harvard and Detroit. The team is coming off a 10-point win over Washington last Sunday.

In its ninth season under Herb Sendek, Arizona State has been very, very good at one thing: defensive rebounding. The roster doesn’t have much size outside of 6-foot-10 big man Eric Jacobsen, but manages to clean its own glass with a good amount of support from guards and wings. At the top of that list is junior Gerry Blakes, a JUCO transfer who is not only averaging 20.8 points in his last three games, but also leads the team with in defensive rebounding percentage (19.1). He has since moved away from point guard to assume a bigger scoring role, a better fit for both him and his team.

Opposing player to watch: As most know at this point, UCLA can be vulnerable to 3-point shooters, especially those that spot up in the corners. Arizona State’s biggest threat from outside is Jonathan Gilling, a 6-foot-7 forward who is averaging a career-high 46.5 percent on 3-point shots. Gilling leads ASU with 101 attempts from beyond the arc, and is 16 of 39 in four career games against the Bruins.

Bo Barnes and Tra Holder also both shoot above 40 percent from downtown.

Key stat: Arizona State turns the ball over at a higher rate (21.2 percent) than any other team in the Pac-12, and has totaled more turnovers (357) than assists (337) on the season. UCLA has slowed down to more of a half-court offense since entering Pac-12 play, but a few easy transition baskets could give the Bruins some offensive rhythm.

Odds: UCLA heads into Tempe tonight as a three-point underdog. gives the Bruins a 34 percent chance of winning.

— UCLA is getting to the free throw line more, and winning as a result.