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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona men’s basketball dominates Missouri on the road: Alkins has career-high

Alex McIntyre
Arizona guard Rawle Alkins (1) dunks against Texas Southern University in McKale Center on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The Wildcats won against the Tigers 85-63.

No. 20 Arizona moved to 8-2 on the season after defeating the Missouri Tigers 79-60. Freshman Rawle Alkins led Arizona with a career-high 19 points.

It was the defense that got things going for the Wildcats. They held the Tigers scoreless through the first four minutes of the first half, forcing the Tigers to miss their first four shots. The Wildcats got it done on the glass as well, outrebounding the Tigers 46-28.

The Wildcats hit their first two three point shots, from senior Kadeem Allen and freshman Rawle Alkins, and it propelled the Wildcats to an early double-digit lead.

It was a dominant start for Arizona, but the lead could have been stretched even further if not for early turnovers in the first half. The Wildcats turned it over five times in the first five minutes of the game, allowing the Tigers to hang around. Missouri finished the last six minutes of the first half on an 18-8 run, and closed the gap to five points.

Both teams struggled shooting the ball to begin the second half. Arizona began the second half playing at a much slower pace compared to the first half, and the Tigers shooting woes helped Arizona cushion their lead. Missouri was only able to get off 10 shot attempts in the first 11 minutes of the first half, connecting on just one three-point shot.

For the second straight game, foul trouble became an issue for the Wildcats. Arizona once again had only seven scholarship players available, and after playing 14 minutes against UC Irvine on Tuesday, redshirt sophomore Tyler Trillo saw the court for one minute against the Tigers. Head coach Sean Miller had to deal with foul trouble after Markkanen picked up his fourth foul with nine minutes to play, but due to Arizona’s best shooting performance of the season it did not become a factor.

Simmons had a solid performance after some recent struggles and he finished the game with 19 points. The freshman was much more decisive with the ball, displaying his athleticism on several occasions. The Tigers defenders simply could not stay in front of Simmons when he was able to get a step and he put together his best performance since the season opener against the Michigan State Spartans.

Arizona went 13-24 from three-point land, both season highs. Allen and Alkins each had four hits from deep, and Simmons added three of his own.

The Tigers have been slightly below average from the field all season entering the matchup shooting 41.1 percent, and against a more athletic Arizona lineup, the Tigers shot just 33 percent in the game. In the second half, the Wildcats were able to hold the Tigers to a 27 percent shooting mark in the second half.

Arizona will face Grand Canyon University on Wednesday, December 14th at 9 p.m. MST at McKale Center. The game can be seen on ESPNU.

Follow Christopher Deak on Twitter.

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