Arizona beats Oregon State 62-53, after slow start
After recording the lowest scoring first half of the season, Arizona men’s basketball came back in the second half behind Allonzo Trier's 21 points to beat Oregon State 62-53 Thursday in the McKale Center.
The Wildcats scored just 21 points and gave up nine turnovers in the first half, but came back to win by nine and improve to 13-4 and (3-1) in the Pac-12 conference.
"It was a tale of two halves for us in many ways, but especially on offense." Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. "In the second half our defense sparked our offense."
Arizona started the second half with slow offense, poor shots and turnovers, but hung in the game with solid defense. Midway through the second half the Wildcats began to find a rhythm on offense, took the lead for good and then pulled away during the final eight minutes of the game.
Trier lead the game with 21 points. He was the only Wildcat with a 3-pointer in the first half and ended the game 4-for-9 from deep. Deandre Ayton trailed with 14 points and 10 rebounds to give him his 12th double-double of the season, subsequently tying him for the most double-doubles by a freshman in Arizona history, a record set by Al Fleming in the 1972-73 season.
Ayton also threw down a momentum changing dunk midway though the second half.
Arizona took its first lead three minutes into the second half when Ayton leaped into the air, snagged a lob pass from OSU guard Stephen Thompson and threw the ball to Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who found Trier for a slam dunk over Oregon State guard Ethan Thompson on the other end.
On the next possession Rawle Alkins came up with a steal and drove home a reverse dunk to put Arizona up three.
"They doubled the guy on the pick and roll and I tried to watch the guys eyes. I got the steal and I had a lot of adrenaline." Alkins said. "Before I got hurt that used to be my favorite dunk."
Oregon State brought a heavy zone defense against the Wildcats, and in the first half Arizona looked confused and struggled to penetrate the zone and get the ball near the rim.
"Did we have moments where we struggled tonight against it? We did," Miller said. "But in the second half we moved the ball much better, we got much better shots. I'm confident in a variety of zones and I believe our team is as well."
Alkins added 11 points and two assists for Arizona while Dusan Ristic also had eight points and eight rebounds.
OSU head coach Wayne Tinkle's son, Tres Tinkle, lead scoring for the Beavers with 15 points and eight rebounds. Tinkle had 10 in the first half.
"He had a good game," Trier said. "He was really agressive against us tonight, he played well."
The Wildcats initially started the game 0-for-4 from deep and let Oregon State take a 9-2 lead by the first media timeout. Arizona came back during the next four minutes with a 8-2 run to bring it within four. It was a close game the rest of the half and the Wildcats went into the locker room down one, 22-21.
Throughout the game, Arizona shot 42 percent from the floor and 6-for-21 from 3-point range while OSU shot 39 percent and hit 6-of-14 from deep. Arizona also gave up 12 turnovers, but forced 15 from the Beavers.
In the first half the Beavers out rebounded the ‘Cats 18-17, but by the end of the game, the Wildcats won the rebounding battle 35-33.
Brandon Randolph missed a open dunk right after the first media timeout in the first half, but redeemed himself two possessions later with a highlight dunk off of a breakaway steal.
Those were the only two points Randolph would get. He played 12 minutes and shot 1-for-7 from the floor.
Arizona moves on to play Oregon at home in the McKale Center on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. on ESPN2.