Mens Basketball: Arizona 101, Northern Arizona 67 - D1SportsNet


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Mens basketball

Arizona 101, Northern Arizona 67

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Junior guard Allonzo Trier said, "I have a different seat on the bus" when it comes to the No. 3 Arizona Wildcats.

It's clear he's at -- or near -- the front of the bus, given what he did Friday night at McKale Center.

Trier scored a career-high 32 points to help lead Arizona past Northern Arizona, 101-67.

Trier, UA's leading scorer a season ago (17.2), hit his first four shots, finishing 7 of 9 in the first half en route to 22 points at the break. He tied his career-high of 28 with 13:39 left on his second thunderous dunk.

"I tried to set the tone for my teammates," Trier said. "I'm one of the leaders on the team. I tried to come out and take care of business."

He clearly did.

Trier finished 10-for-13 from the floor and 10 of 11 from the free-throw line. He was sent to the bench with 4:47 left in the game.

"I took good shots and trusted my preparation going into the game," he said. "I work really hard at what I do."

Trier said he didn't realize he had set his career high until school officials put the accomplishment on the screen.

"Allonzo has put in as much work on the game of basketball as any player that we've had," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "He's fought through adversity and it's helped him. He's more mature. From an offensive perspective he takes a back seat to nobody."

Dusan Ristic helped Trier by adding 20 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes. The senior center made 8 of 13 shots.

"He's growing as one of our older players and one of our leaders," Trier said of Ristic. "He's setting the example for some of the younger big men. He did a great job of scoring the ball and rebounding the ball. Proud of the way he played."

Deandre Ayton, Arizona's star freshman post player, also had a double-double, finishing with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

"Deandre Ayton is unbelievable," NAU coach Jack Murphy said. "Deandre Ayton is a special player and he changes the game with everything in terms of matchups and what we do defensively and offensively."

Arizona (1-0) was efficient from the free-throw line, hitting 28 of 32.

Northern Arizona (0-1) was led by Chris Bowling and Isaiah Thomas, who each had 11 points.

Arizona raced out to big leads throughout the first half before settling for a 49-36 edge at the half. The smaller Lumberjacks kept the game close to begin the second half, getting down just 51-39.

The Wildcats went on an 11-2 run midway through the second half to pull away at 75-51 with 11 minutes left, and it was never closer.

Arizona played with just eight scholarship players because of suspensions, injuries and an NCAA violation. The players said it was difficult to play with so few players but they got through it.

"We were down as bad as you can be," Miller said, talking about his bench. "Out of the 17 players we have, seven were not able to play."

He expects three of the players back Sunday to add to the team's depth.

NOTES: Arizona played without senior F Keanu Pinder, who was suspended for the game due to violating undisclosed NCAA rules. The school said it was a one-game suspension. ... Arizona assistant coach Mark Phelps was suspended Friday for a violation of NCAA rules. He will not be paid for five days, missing two games before returning on Nov. 15. His suspension is said to not be involved with the current FBI investigation into Mens basketball, one in which UA assistant Book Richardson has been indicted. ... The Lumberjacks are coached by Jack Murphy, a former UA student and manager/director of operations under Lute Olson. This is his sixth season at NAU. ... This was NAU's first of 10 road games in the team's first 13 games. ... NAU is now 27-98 vs. Arizona all-time.