Numbers Never Lie: 5 important stats from Arizona's win over Oregon
Arizona men's basketball handled the Oregon Ducks in the final moments in Tucson on Saturday, coming away with a 90-83 win. Check out the five most important numbers from the game that played a role in Arizona's win.
Freshman forward Deandre Ayton and junior guard Allonzo Trier combined for 49 points against the Ducks on Saturday. Ayton hit 7-11 shots from the floor and made 10-11 free throws to rack up 24 points while grabbing seven rebounds in the process. Trier scored 25 points on the afternoon shooting 6-14 from the floor and 1-6 from 3-point range, but was a perfect 11-11 from the free throw line.
Trier and Ayton had back-to-back key possessions for the Wildcats in the closing minutes as the Trier threw a lob pass to the 7-1 giant who only needed one hand to dunk the ball, and on the next possession Trier knocked down a 3 to give Arizona an 81-77 lead with 2:11 left to play.
Free throw shooting was included in the important stats from Thursday’s win vs. Oregon State and the same rang true against the Ducks. With a quick whistle from the heavily scrutinized Pac-12 officiating crew, the Wildcats hit 34 of their 37 free throws with 24 of those makes coming in the second half.
“34 for 37 from the line. You just can’t underestimate that,” UA head coach Sean Miller said. “And we were an excellent free throw shooting team a year ago, quietly that’s why we won so many close games. The same is this year.”
With the game teeter-tottering in the final minutes, UA’s defense held Oregon’s offense to just 2-10 from the floor to close the game. Ducks guard Elijah Brown had been torching the Wildcats from behind the arc with good looks for the majority of the game, hitting 6-10 total, but wasn’t able to hit his final two as the Wildcats clamped down on the freshman.
During this scoring slump from the Ducks, the ‘Cats outscored the Ducks 13-7 in the final three minutes of the game.
“I think our defense won the game,” sophomore guard Rawle Alkins said.
Arizona has been needing someone to step up off the bench and provide a boost in a limited role. Today, that person was Keanu Pinder who was a lightning rod for the Wildcats in his 18 minutes off the bench after not playing at all against Oregon State two days ago. Pinder gave his best defensive performance of the season, which included a block and a steal. It’s possible that Arizona would’ve lost without the lift he gave the team.
“You just got to stay ready,” Pinder said. “ You never know when you are going to get the opportunity. I just got the opportunity and ran with it.”
The Pac-12 referees got an ear full from Oregon’s Dana Altman, UA’s Sean Miller and 14,500 fans for 40 minutes. In total, there were 51 personal foul calls: 29 against Oregon and 22 against Arizona. For comparison, the game versus against Oregon State had 27 personal fouls.
There were several instances in which both Miller and Altman were irate with the officiating especially at the end of the first half where there was a questionable out-of-bounds call that went against Arizona.
“It was a physical game… that’s how the game was called,” Miller said.
“The play before halftime, I almost had an out-of-body experience. I couldn’t remember where I was,” Miller joked. “I thought I was having a stroke in the locker room.”
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