Arizona knocks off Stanford 73-71 to take first place in Pac-12
Stanford's Dorian Pickens is pushed out of the way as Arizona's Rawle Alkins makes a shot on Jan. 20, 2018.
Allonzo Trier's clutch free throws and 21 points helped Arizona men’s basketball overcome foul trouble and a 11-point second half deficit to knock off Stanford 73-71 Saturday at Maples Pavilion.
The Wildcats were down double digits with 9:29 to go in regulation, but came back with solid team defense and strong offense to improve to 16-4 overall and 6-1 in the Pac-12. The win moves Arizona to first place in the conference.
Down 11, Arizona surged back into the game with a 11-0 run, capped by a deep three from Trier.
Then, with just over a minute left in regulation and down three, Ayton hit a contested floater over a Stanford triple-team to bring Arizona within one. Seconds later, Parker Jackson-Cartwright came up with a steal at midcourt, drove against a Stanford defender and made a layup high off the glass to put Arizona up for good, 67-66.
Stanford turned the ball over out of bounds on the next possession and fouled Trier when Arizona inbounded the ball with 18 seconds on the clock. Trier made both free throws to put Arizona up three.
On the next possession Ayton picked up his 5th foul and fouled out of the game when he was called for bumping Dorian Pickens on a drive to the basket. Pickens made one and Stanford fouled Rawle Alkins when he came down with the rebound. Alkins made one, putting the Wildcats back up three, and Arizona sent Stanford back to the line for a pair. Stanford hit both free throws and fouled Trier when Arizona inbounded the ball with four seconds left.
Trier hit one free throw, putting Arizona up 73-71 and giving Stanford a chance to win the game with a three. With no timeouts, Stanford drove down the court and threw up a desperation three as the clock expired, giving Arizona its 5th win in the Pac-12.
Allonzo Trier led the game with 21 points, three rebounds and three assists, but iced the game in the final minute with free throws. He went 7-for-8 from the stripe, 5-for-10 overall and 4-for-9 from 3-point range.
Deandre Ayton had five blocks in the first half but dealt with foul trouble throughout the game. He received his second foul midway through the first half and Arizona head coach Sean Miller had to sit him. He picked up his third foul with 16:50 left in the second half and forced Miller to sit him again. Handicapped by fouls, Ayton finished with nine points, eight rebounds and six blocks.
Visibly frustrated by an offensive foul called against Ayton in the second half, Miller shouted angrily at the referee and stared him down. The referee gave Miller a technical and Miller called a timeout, while continuing to stare down the ref. Stanford made the technical free throw and promptly hit a corner three to cap the largest lead of the night.
Dusan Ristic picked up the slack for Ayton by adding 18 points and nine rebounds. When Ayton was on the bench Stanford brought a double-team against Ristic, but the big man still managed to find his way to the basket. In the first half, Ristic hit three 16-foot jumpers and played strong defense. Overall, Ristic had a efficient night, shooting 9-for-13.
Stanford brought a heavy zone defense against the Wildcats and during the times Stanford made a run, it was when Arizona looked slow and confused by the zone. Getting the ball inside to Ristic helped Arizona break the zone.
Arizona started the game shooting over 60 percent, jumped to a 10-point, 17-7 lead at the first media timeout and then extended it to 12. The Wildcats held the pace until eight minutes left in the first half, going three minutes without a field goal and letting Stanford climb to within seven.
To close the half, Cardinal forward Reid Travis shot Stanford back into the game. Travis scored 9-of-12 Stanford points in the final seven minutes of the half and fueled a 7-0 run that took Stanford to the locker room down two, 31-29.
Travis finished with a 20 point, 10 rebound double-double and repeatedly beat Arizona’s defense in the paint. He did not make a 3-pointer and earned his points on 8-for-14 shooting and 4-for-8 from the stripe.
Stanford took 10 more shots than Arizona from the free throw line. The Cardinal made it to the line 23 times while Arizona only took 13 attempts. The Cardinal also outrebounded the Wildcats 38-34 and 13-8 on the offensive glass.
Arizona returns to the desert for a rematch with Colorado on Thursday in the McKale Center at 6:30 p.m. on FS1.