Allonzo Trier struggled in the first half of Saturday’s game against Saint Mary’s, but responded in a big way in the second by scoring all of his 14 points.
“I think Allonzo, he wants to play well so bad that today, and this really isn't his makeup, but today he didn't have the confidence that he usually has,” Sean Miller said Saturday.
“A couple of things went bad. For example, I think on the first play of the game for him he was running down the sideline and he caught the ball out-of-bounds. It's that old line, the line doesn't move, it's there. Come on now.
“I think it kind of set the tone where it wasn't anything other than I think he's been thinking about this moment for a long time, wants it very badly and once in a while it can work against you and it did for a period of time.”
In a close game, Trier’s ability to score in the second half may have been the difference.
“I almost feel like the difference in the game was his offensive outburst maybe midway through the second half,” Miller said. “He regained his confidence and when he's confident offensively our team is a lot better.”
The Wildcats have had to persevere throughout the season and those experiences seemingly helped on Saturday.
“Like Rawle and really our team, things weren't bright in the first half for many of the moments of the game,” Miller said. “I think it's our depth of experience of all that we've been through this year, the fight that we've had from start to finish has really prepared us well for a game like today in this tournament.
“Nothing is easy in this tournament. The unexpected happens and you have to be able to fight through it to get there.”