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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Kadeem Allen floater gives Wildcats thrilling win against No. 12 Michigan State

Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildca
Arizona guard Kadeem Allen (5) clambers for the ball against Idaho College center Aitor Zubizarreta (45) during Arizona’s blow-out 86-35 exhibition win over the College of Idaho at McKale Center on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016.

A Kadeem Allen floater with 1.9 seconds remaining gave Arizona a 65-63 win over Michigan State at the Armed Forces Classic Friday night in Hawaii.

Allen skirted down the sideline with seven seconds left and lofted a ball high off the glass over three MSU defenders to cement the win for the Wildcats.

“He is the guy that every coach in the country would love to have on their team,” said Arizona head coach Sean Miller. “It’s incredible to watch him make the shot and get the steal, it’s what should happen.”

After a rough start for Arizona basketball, mainly the inability to stop Michigan State’s freshman Miles Bridges, the Wildcats recovered and took a 34-30 lead into halftime.

The Spartans started off on fire led by Bridges seven points in the first four minutes and jumping out to a 17-2 lead early on. The Spartans also connected three straight 3-pointers to aid their cause and send the Wildcats scurrying for help.

That help would come from freshman Kobi Simmons who launched Arizona into a 30-9 run that would see them take the lead into halftime.

“Kobi Simmons on offense for a freshman in his first college game I think obviously showed what a talented player he is,” said Arizona head coach Sean Miller on ESPN. “We wouldn’t be up four if he didn’t play the way he did.”

Simmons scored 18 points on 4-for-7 shooting including 2-for-3 from 3-point to help the Wildcats recover from a slow start. Lauri Markkanen was the second leading scorer with 13 points.

Michigan State was led on offense by Bridges who had 21 points to lead all scorers.

“We’re so much a work in progress,” Miller said. “To our team’s great credit, we hung in there and the fact that we’re in a tough game I think says a lot about our group. I am happy to be where we are at halftime.”

It was nip-and-tuck in the second half as each team took the lead in the final 10 minutes of the game seemingly every possession. However it was Allen’s play, especially on defense, that ultimately sealed the deal for Arizona. In a game full of freshman talent on both sides of the ball, it was the lone senior on the team that made all the difference.

Follow Saul Bookman on Twitter.

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