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Trier’s 22 help No. 9 Arizona escape with win over Stanford

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Stanford is the only Pac-12 school that hasn’t beaten Arizona in coach Sean Miller’s eight seasons in Tucson.

The Cardinal sure came close on Wednesday night.

Allonzo Trier scored 22 points and made 12 of 12 from the free-throw line, helping the No. 9 Arizona escape with a 74-67 victory.

Trier got his biggest offensive output since he returned to the team six games ago. This was his first start of the season.

“I’m just pretty much getting going,” Trier said. “I’m doing my best. Each game though is just more experience for me and allows me to get more comfortable with my teammates out there.”

Lauri Markkanen emerged from a three-game shooting slump to make a 3-pointer that gave the Wildcats the lead for good, 70-67, with 1:40 to go.

Trier added two free throws with 23.7 seconds to go.

Arizona (22-3, 11-1 Pac-12) led most of the game but never by more than 12 points.

Reid Travis led Stanford (12-12, 4-8) with 26 points.

“We showed ourselves that we can play against anyone in the country if we’re playing hard,” he said, “so although the loss hurt, it is definitely something that’s going to fuel us going into the next couple of games.”

Arizona beat the Cardinal by 39 at Stanford on Jan. 1, but Stanford was coming off a big win over Utah.

“I think our guys expected to win,” Cardinal coach Jerod Haase said. “We put ourselves in position, and all we talked about all night was trying to get ourselves in position in the last four or five minutes. I think our guys made a lot of plays, but at the end of the day we couldn’t seal it.”

Rawle Alkins added 12 points and Chance Comanche had 11 for the Wildcats, who won the game at the free-throw line, going 25 for 29 to Stanford’s 9 for 12. The Wildcats made their last 19 free throws.

Marcus Allen scored 15 points and Dorian Pickens had 12 for Stanford, which lost to Arizona for the 15th straight time.

Arizona looked to have a hangover from its 85-58 loss at Oregon last Saturday, a blowout defeat that snapped the Wildcats’ 15-game winning streak.

Miller was in a cranky mood afterward, mainly because of poor defense and rebounding.

“When you let teams get 17 second-chance points, it really puts a lot of pressure on your ability to win,” Miller said. “The other thing is we have a number of players that can’t guard their man.”

Stanford never led after the game’s first eight minutes but stayed close with the inside domination of Travis. The Cardinal tied it twice late, the last time at 67-67 on Allen’s layup with 1:56 to go.

After Allen started the second half with two free throws to cut the Arizona lead to 35-34, the Wildcats scored the next eight – a 3-pointer and driving layup by Alkins, followed by Kadeem Allen’s 3 – to put Arizona ahead 43-34.

Simmons’ free throw with 11:22 to play gave the Wildcats their biggest lead at 50-38. But Arizona went 7:32 without a field goal before Dusan Ristic’s rebound basket put Arizona up 61-57 with 5:18 left. Comanche’s two free throws padded the lead to 63-57 with 4:51 to go.

Stanford caught up with an 8-2 spurt, tying it at 65 when Pickens made a 3-pointer with 2:23 to play. Trier’s two free throws made it 67-65 before Allen got free inside after an offensive rebound and scored to tie it for the final time.

POOR MARKKMANSHIP

Markkanen’s big 3 was his second field goal in nine tries. He was 2 for 7 on 3-pointers.

Overall in his last three games, Markkanen is 4 for 20 from the field, 3 for 13 on 3s.

Miller said he thought Markkanen’s confidence was shaken and the big field goal at the end should help restore that. He was more concerned that the 7-foot freshman had just three rebounds.

BIG PICTURE

Stanford is obviously improving and will be no pushover down the stretch. Arizona stayed atop the Pac-12 standings but the Wildcats have some work to do to fix their recent issues.

UP NEXT

Stanford: The Cardinal look to avenge a home loss to Arizona State with a rematch against the Sun Devils on Saturday night in Tempe.

Arizona: The Wildcats go for a Bay Area sweep when they host California on Saturday night.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .

VIDEO: Jay-Z’s nephew posterizes nation’s No. 1 recruit Marvin Bagley III

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Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.

He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.