Originally Published: January 11, 2018 10:45 p.m.
Ayton records double-double, Wildcats 3-1 in Pac-12
TUCSON — Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and No. 17 Arizona pulled away from a sluggish, close game in the final 7 1/2 minutes to beat Oregon State 62-53 on Thursday night.
Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Rawle Alkins scored 11 points, nine in the second half, for the Wildcats (13-4, 3-1 Pac-12), coming off a loss Saturday at Colorado.
Tres Tinkle scored 18 points and Stephen Thompson Jr. had 14 for the Beavers (10-6, 2-2), who have won just once in Tucson in the last 35 years (2010).
Oregon State led the entire first half and was up 22-21 at the break, the lowest-scoring half for Arizona this season, and the lowest-scoring for a Beavers opponent. But the Wildcats outscored the visitors 24-14 over the final 7:33.
The Beavers took a 12-2 lead over the cold-shooting Wildcats, an early spurt capped by Tinkle’s 3-pointer.
Tinkle’s inside basket gave Oregon State a 22-15 lead 5:30 before the break but the Beavers never scored again in the half. Instead, Ira Lee’s three-point play on a breakaway stuff and Trier’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 22-21 with 3:11 to go, and neither team could score again before halftime.
Arizona finally got the lead with six straight points, including a breakaway dunk by Trier and a spinning reverse dunk by Alkins, both baskets off turnovers, and the Wildcats led with 16:30 to play.
It was back and forth after that until Ayton’s rebound basket put Arizona ahead for good, 40-39 with 7:33 left. That ignited the 16-3 run that finally put the game under control for the Wildcats. Alkins scored seven in the surge, capping it with a 3-pointer that put Arizona up 54-42 with 4:10 to play.
The victory came in the first game since Wildcats coach Sean Miller complained, following the Colorado loss, that he just can’t get to these players.
OREGON STATE: The Beavers have patience and enough talent to cause problems against opponents, even in the highly unfriendly environment of McKale Center. They could be especially dangerous when teams come to Corvallis.
ARIZONA: The Wildcats were lulled into ineffectiveness throughout the first half but finally won with their defense. That’s the part of the game Miller wants to emphasis in his frustrating efforts with the highly talented but inconsistent team.
Oregon State: at Arizona State on Saturday.
Arizona: hosts Oregon on Saturday.