Mens Basketball: Arizona vs Maryland-Baltimore County - D1SportsNet


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Mens basketball

Arizona vs Maryland-Baltimore County

TUCSON, Ariz. No. 3 Arizona opened its season Friday night with the type of performance that validated sky high expectations. Junior guard Allonzo Trier scored a career high 32 points in the 101 67 win over Northern Arizona.

Trier has yet to play a full season at Arizona, breaking his hand as a freshman then being forced to miss about half the season as a sophomore because of a failed performance enhancing drug test. The Seattle native returned for a third year in Tucson hoping to be part of the solution to get head coach Sean Miller over the hump and into a Final Four for the first time in his career.

Trier, a preseason All American by multiple media outlets, opened the season with a bang, continuing to show his importance to the Wildcats' success.

"I just tried to come out play hard and compete," Trier said. "I tried to set the tone for my teammates being one of the older guys and one of the leaders on this team. I tried to show them how we take care of business."

Arizona will try to take care of more business Sunday against University of Maryland Baltimore County (0 1).

Trier wasn't alone in his efforts Friday night. He combined with the Wildcats' two starting 7 footers Deandre Ayton and Dusan Ristic to score 71 points. Senior point guard Parker Jackson Cartwright contributed with eight assists and no turnovers.

"That's an elite job from our point guard setting the tone as one of our leaders and seniors," Trier said. "I thought he did a great job."

Arizona went into the game short handed with assistant coach Mark Phelps and senior power forward Keanu Pinder suspended for the game for a violation of NCAA rules, it was announced prior to tip off. Pinder will return for Sunday's game, while Phelps will miss the game as part of his five day suspension.

The Wildcats will welcome back redshirt sophomore guard Dylan Smith from his three game suspension Sunday, but could still be without freshman wing Brandon Randolph as he works through a concussion. Smith is in his first season of eligibility after transferring from UNC Asheville.

UMBC pushed SMU on Friday night, taking a lead into the second half before the Mustangs put together a run that led to a 78 67 loss for the Retrievers. Senior guard Jairus Lyles led the way for UMBC with 24 points, while sophomore forward Arkel Lamar had 23 points and 12 rebounds.

"For the most part Lyles put his head down like a train and just buried in there as fast as he could and forced a lot of whistles," SMU head coach Tim Jankovich said. "When we didn't want to foul him, he squirmed his way to the basket."

Miller is preparing his team for a similar type of battle when the teams meet at 6 p.m. ET Sunday.

"UMBC is a really good team," Miller said. "They won 21 games last year ... so, we know it's going to be a tough test."