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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 .

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

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INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.