Arizona improved to 21-2 on the season and 10-0 in conference play with a 71-54 victory over Oregon State. Here’s a closer look at what happened.
Player of the Game:
Allonzo Trier - The sophomore still doesn't look quite like himself at times, but Trier played a solid game against Oregon State and was a big reason why Arizona was able to stay in the game and pull away. The wing finished with a game-high 18 points and pulled down three rebounds in the victory. In a game where points came at a premium in the first half, Trier's offensive performance stood out.
* Arizona played a horrific first half, but it's a good thing that basketball games have two halves. The Wildcats came out of the locker room fired up. After both teams traded five points, Arizona went on a 10-0 run that was capped by Lauri Markkanen's only three-pointer of the night. The shot put the Wildcats up 42-34 and forced the Beavers to call timeout. Arizona added four more free throws, making it a 14-0 run before Oregon State scored.
* The Wildcats continued to dominate in the second half after a lackluster first 20 minutes. Just under the 12-minute mark, Oregon State got an easy layup off a steal and Arizona answered with a Kobi Simmons three-pointer. Trier followed with a tough layup in transition before Rawle Alkins put back an offensive rebound for two. That wasn't all, as Dusan Ristic pulled down an offensive rebound and scored easily as the Wildcats went up 55-36.
I don't know if Arizona has played a worse first half all season. With that being said, it was night and day for the Wildcats in a Tale of Two Halves. Arizona dominated the second half like it should have in the first half, but the old mantra still rings true: a win is a win. It wasn't pretty, but Arizona got it done and keeps the winning streak alive.
Besides playing poorly, Arizona's big men were hardly noticeable throughout the entire game. Dusan Ristic finished with ten points on four of seven shooting, but his defense was lacking and allowed Oregon State to score at will in the paint at times. The other two big men in the rotation, Markkanen and Chance Comanche, combined for 11 points on just one of nine from the field. The Wildcats are going to have to get better performances in the bigger games down the stretch.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"It started to become more about, `Hey, let me make one myself and see if I can get out of this rut.' When you do that against the zone, it's never going to be quite good," Miller said.
"It's still a step slow," Trier said. "I'm still out of rhythm. I'm still not shooting the ball great. I'll be better. I know that."