Arizona wins 90-83, against a tough Oregon team
A solid defensive effort, coupled with Allonzo Trier’s 25 points and Deandre Ayton’s 24, carried Arizona men’s basketball to a 90-83 win over Oregon Saturday in the McKale Center.
The game was a close back and forth battle filled with emotion, offensive displays, highlight dunks and effort.
"I thought this afternoon might have been our best overall win of the season," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. "We knew it was going to be a heck of a fight, and it was."
Arizona was up by as much as 11 early in the second half, but Oregon climbed back with threes and free throws to take the lead late in the game. It was a back-and-forth battle until the final three minutes when the Wildcats went on a 8-0 run to put the game away and improve to 14-4 and 4-1 in the Pac-12 conference.
Deandre Ayton finished the game just three rebounds shy of breaking the freshman record for double-doubles in a season but still was enough of a dominant factor to control the outcome of the game.
"In my eight years in the league, I've never seen anybody like that," Oregon head coach Dana Altman said. "Man what a talent, I love the way he plays the game. Doesn't talk, just competes."
He also threw down a dunk off an alley-oop from Trier in the final three minutes of the game to put the Wildcats up for good, starting an 8-0 run that put the game out of reach.
There were 51 fouls called in the game and a total of seven players picked up at least four fouls.
Because of the officiating, McKale Center erupted in a angry roar numerous times as the officials made tough call after tough call. At the end of the half, a Oregon player knocked the ball out of Rawle Alkins hand and the officials called it off of Alkins. Miller shouted angrily at the officials while the crowd booed loudly and then stood on the court and waited for the officials to leave the floor before going to the locker room.
"I almost had an out-of-body experience," Miller said. "I couldn't remember where I was, I thought I was having a stroke in the locker room, then I came to my senses.. I just saw the ball go off of them. No official is perfect, but that's probably one they missed."
Allonzo Trier scored 25 points. Trier started scoring early for Arizona with a 3-pointer, and then missed his next six three point attempts, until two minutes left in the game when he hit a deep three as the shot clock expired to put Arizona up five. Throughout the game Trier found his way inside the paint and made it to the free throw line.
Oregon guard Elijah Brown had 25 points with six threes, while forward Mikyle McIntosh added 20 for the Ducks.
Arizona shot 54 percent from the floor and 40 percent from deep while holding the Ducks to 47 percent from the floor and 30 percent from deep.
Rawle Alkins added 13 points and hit a corner three late in the game when the Wildcats were down four and Oregon was gaining momentum.
Arizona originally started the game with back-to-back turnovers, letting Oregon take a 4-0 lead, then started hitting shots. The Wildcats went 6-6 in the first four minutes of the game and continued to shoot well while holding Oregon scoreless for 4:32 midway through the first half.
Arizona then gave up a 7-0 run as Oregon made its way back into the game.
Arizona shut down Oregon's run and pushed the lead back to nine with a momentum changing dunk and stare down by Keanu Pinder in the first half.
"That's a Sportscenter top 10 dunk," Alkins said. "We wouldn't have won this game if it wasn't for Keanu."
Pinder played 18 minutes and scored six points. He did not play against Oregon State Thursday, but brought defensive energy against Oregon. Miller said any player can make a difference on any given night, and each player has to be ready.
Arizona goes on the road to play at Cal Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. on Pac-12 Network.