Another edition of the Cardiac Cats struck on Thursday night in San Jose. but it wasn’t in the way Arizona fans wanted.
With 50 seconds left, Xavier came down the floor, and on a quick play, found Sean O’Mara down low after he beat all of Arizona’s defenders down to the rim. He dropped it in, putting XU up two.
He then got fouled after an Arizona miss, but missed the first end of a 1-and-1.
Allonzo Trier came down the floor and missed the three to put Arizona in front. Xavier grabbed the loose ball and ran the clock out to seal the victory.
Arizona got out to a fast start behind some early contributions from Dusan Ristic on both ends. But when Kadeem Allen picked up his second foul just five minutes into the game, Xavier was able to pick things up. and a good chunk of the first half ended up being a back-and-forth affair.
Rawle Alkins hit a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to give Arizona the 37-35 lead at the break.
The two teams would trade mini runs in the first part of the second half. Arizona looked like it was going to pull away, but Xavier came right back and retook the lead when the Wildcats went with a lineup that featured Alkins at the four and Lauri Markkanen at the five.
After another lackluster first half, Allonzo Trier caught fire in the second half, scoring 15 points in a row for the Wildcats. That put the team up 64-61, and Allen followed that up with a three of his own to give Arizona a six point lead.
After that, Xavier closed the gap right back, responding to yet another Arizona mini run.
He Didn’t Bluiett
At halftime, Trevon Bluiett had 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting. The rest of the Xavier team had 17 points.
However, Bluiett didn’t even score in the first 13 minutes of the second half, but the Musketeers were still up when he finally found the bottom of the basket. His first make of the second stanza but Xavier up 61-57 at the time. He finished with 25 points in the game.
At halftime, Arizona was leading the offensive rebounding category by an absurd 11-3 margin. They ended up winning it 14-7, but it wasn’t enough.
For the second straight game, Trier could not get anything going in the first half, but turned things on in the second half.
His string of 15 straight points would probably have been remembered by Arizona fans for a long time to come, but maybe that last three will stick in the memories of Wildcat faithful instead.
Saturday’s West Regional final between Xavier and Gonzaga will tip-off at 3:09 PM PT on TBS.