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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats dominate second half against Beavers, ready for No. 13 Oregon

Kyle Hansen

Arizona men’s basketball coach Sean Miller calls a play during Arizona’s 57-34 victory over Oregon State on Jan. 30, 2015 in McKale Center.

The now you see me, now you don’t season for the Arizona men’s basketball team continued in typical fashion as the Wildcats were able to overcome another slow first half and blowout the Beavers 71-54 in Gill Coliseum on Thursday.

After being up 14-6 early on, the Wildcats got outscored 23-13 to end the first half trailing by two. A trio of Beavers, Drew Eubanks, Gligorije Rakocevic, and Stephen Thompson Jr. combined for 24 of the Oregon State 29 first half points.

Then came the second half.

With Arizona head coach Sean Miller on the sidelines pushing his team to push the tempo, push it the Wildcats did. In a complete turnaround, the Wildcats, as has been their style lately, came out guns blazing and ran the Beavers back into their dam, putting together a 19-2 run that was capped off by a Kobi Simmons alley-oop dunk that sent the few thousand in attendance at Gill Coliseum home.

“In the second half we just tried to pressure them a little more, make them take tough shots and as a result we got out in transition,” said junior point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright.

Everyone that played scored for Arizona on the night, including Allonzo Trier who had a team high 18 points on just 11 shots. The Wildcats shot 54 percent from the field and out rebounded the Beavers 39-26. For his work Trier still feels like he is not where he needs to be.

“I’m still far, it’s still tough, I’m 19 games behind and I am still a step slow and still out of rhythm, I’m still not shooting the ball great as I am,” Trier said. “It’s not a preparation thing, I put a lot of time in to make sure I’m ready.”

The momentum of the game seemed to change the moment senior point guard Kadeem Allen started to get aggressive. In the first minutes of the second half, Allen penetrated the Beaver zone looking for his shot, but ultimately set up his teammates as well.

“His stats don’t reveal it, but I thought the first eight minutes of the second half he really set the tone, both on defense and on offense,” said Arizona head coach Sean Miller.

For the Wildcats, the win sets up a match up against Oregon Saturday that could very well be the defacto Pac-12 regular season championship game. Arizona will be looking to avenge two losses from a season ago that resulted in a 49-game home winning streak coming to an end and being eliminated from the Pac-12 tournament.

“You don’t have to say anything, you don’t have to give anybody any extra motivation on Saturday,” Trier said. “We know how good Oregon is, we know what to expect out of them, it’s going to be a hard fought game and we’re excited for the challenge.

No. 5 Arizona now travels to Eugene to take on No. 13 Oregon, the defending Pac-12 Champions. Game time is set for 2 p.m. from Matthew Knight Arena.

Follow Saul Bookman on Twitter 

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