Trier leads No. 3 Arizona over UMBC
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Another game, another 30-point effort from Arizona senior Allonzo Trier, voted a first-time preseason All-America player earlier this month.
Trier scored 30 points and freshman Deandre Ayton added 19 points and 13 rebounds to help lead No. 3 Arizona past the University of Maryland-Baltimore County 103-78 on Sunday afternoon at McKale Center.
Trier’s performance is two days removed from a career-high 32 points. It was the second game that Arizona (2-0) surpassed 100 points.
“That’s what he does,” Arizona guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright said. “He’s prepared himself mentally for this moment, and he’s relishing it.”
Said Arizona coach Sean Miller: “He’s very efficient how he’s playing the game right now. You also have to credit his teammates. It’s not easy to load up on him. He has a very fast and unselfish point guard Parker who understand how to play the game. He’s surrounded with a lot of other weapons. It’s set up for (Trier) as long as he’s taking good shots.”
In a fast-paced game, Arizona survived an early second-half surge by UMBC as the Retrievers (0-2) closed to within 58-55 in the first two minutes.
“I was proud of our guys,” UMBC coach Ryan Odom said. “You never know how these kinds of games are going to go, you could get scared at the beginning of it. You don’t know if you’re going to be able to fight through some adverse situations when they’re attacking you.”
Arizona was able to get a double-digit lead at 78-63 with 9:32 left behind Trier’s 15 second-half points.
The Retrievers continued to stay close early in the second half, using 3-pointers and attacking the basket.
Arizona finally took control behind a 13-0 run, culminated by back-to-back 3-pointers by freshman guard Alex Barcello.
Arizona slowly extended a double-digit before the big run behind 7-foot-1 Akon, who hit two 15-foot jumpers and blocked or altered shots. He put an exclamation point on the victory with a huge rebound dunk, making it 98-71 with 2:35 left.
“They have options up front and on the perimeter and they play well together,” Odom said of Arizona. “It’s good to be playing that well together that early in the season.”
Arizona’s Keanu Pinder followed it with a blocked shot where the ball landed about 10 rows into the stands.
Each team couldn’t be stopped on the perimeter with Arizona hitting 15 of 27 3 pointers. UMBC hit 14 of 28.
UMBC’s Jairus Lyles had a game-high 31 points, 23 coming in the first half. He was 5 of 8 from beyond the arc.
“He’s a heck of a player. If you come into McKale Center and get 31, 23 in the first half you are really, really good,” Miller said. “We knew that ahead of time. They tested us”
Arizona was down 11-5 early on, but went on a 15-0 run to take control of the first half behind Trier and Ayton. The Wildcats later extended it to a 24-3 run with the highlight coming from Ayton on an alley-oop dunk to make it 31-16.
“I heard coach Miller say, ‘Deandre go get that one,'” Ayton said. “I was like, ‘OK.'”
Miller smiled at his response.
”I’ll take full credit for the dunk, if that’s what he believes,“ Miller said. There aren’t many players who can go and do what he did.”
UMBC stayed close throughout the first half by hitting 3s and improbable shots against the taller Wildcats, who shot 70 percent in the first half.
NOTES: Arizona freshman Brandon Randolph played his first game of his career after dealing with concussion issues the last week. He missed Friday night’s game. ... Sophomore transfer G Dylan Smith played in his first game after sitting out the first game because of a team violation. ... Senior F Keanu Pinder played his first game after having to sit out the first game because of an NCAA violation. ... This was UMBC’s first meeting with Arizona ... The loss will prevent UMBC from equaling last season’s start of 7-1, which was a school best.