Palo Alto, CA – The No. 14 Arizona Wildcats (16-4) came into a red-hot Stanford team (11-9), winners of five in a row including knocking off the No. 16 Arizona State. A sell-out crowd got to watch a nail-biting game. The game went down to the wire but Arizona managed to pull out a 73-71 win.
Arizona started off fast and managed to get an early lead, as Stanford’s shots weren’t falling for them. Deandre Ayton was subjected early on to double and sometimes triple teams as Stanford upped their defensive intensity to get back into the game, getting it to within two points with two minutes remaining in the first half. Both teams didn’t shoot well from the 3-point line with Arizona going 4-of-15 (26.7%) and Stanford 1-of-6 (16.7%). Stanford was further soured by freshman point guard Daejon Davis leaving the court with an injury and not returning. By halftime the lead stayed at two points for the Wildcats 31-29.
The second half saw Ayton continue to be subbed off and on due to fouls, limiting him to only 28 minutes for the game. He eventually fouled out late in the game. He managed to end up with nine points, eight rebounds and a impressive season-high six blocks.
Stanford’s Reid Travis, who ended up with 20 points and 10 rebounds started to get more comfortable scoring as the Cardinals stepped up their aggressiveness on the defensive end. That effort resulted in an 11-point run putting them up by 11 with nine minutes left.
From there Arizona relied on the 3-point shot, with help from Allonzo Trier who shot 4-of-9 from deep for his 21 points and 7-0 Dusan Ristic, who played well in Ayton’s absence, showing off some polished post moves with solid rebounding, finishing the game with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Arizona came up with an 11-point run of their own and with just over six minutes left in the game it was evened up and stayed close for the remainder. After Trier made one free throw to give the Wildcats a two-point lead. a desperation 3-point shot didn’t fall for Stanford at the buzzer.
This article was written by Daniel Gould, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can follow us on Facebook, or on twitter. We are looking for those interested in our basketball scout certification program. For information contact us and forward your resume.