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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona tops Missouri 88-52

Arizona+center+Dusan+Ristic+%2814%29+goes+up+against+Mizzou+forward+Russell+Woods+%2825%29+during+Arizonas+effortless+88-52+win+over+Mizzou+at+McKale+Center+on+Sunday%2C+Dec.+13%2C+2015.
Rebecca Noble
Arizona center Dusan Ristic (14) goes up against Mizzou forward Russell Woods (25) during Arizona’s effortless 88-52 win over Mizzou at McKale Center on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015.

With Arizona coming off an uncomfortable 85-72 win against Fresno State Wednesday, a home visit by the Missouri Tigers (5-3) would be another test Wildcats would have to face just before finals week. Arizona showed no signs of mercy from tip-off, thumping the Tigers in front of a near sold out crowd 88-52 to earn their 44th consecutive home win.

Arizona men’s basketball head coach Sean Miller was supposed to be short handed Sunday night with Kaleb Tarczewski out with a foot injury and Elliott Pitts out with personal issues. Kadeem Allen suffered an ankle injury Wednesday night, but was in the starting lineup and didn’t show any signs of injury.

“Thank goodness. We need him to continue to develop and he’s on the right track,” Miller said. “He’s a pretty tough kid so a few bumps and bruises won’t keep him from playing.”

Arizona jumped out to a 6-0 in the first two minutes of the game before Missouri head coach Kim Anderson called a timeout. Following Allen’s ankle injury, it was expected for players like freshman Justin Simon to get even more in the mix and majority of the guard load to be placed on the shoulders of Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Gabe York and Allonzo Trier.

Simon proved his worth by coming in and getting a quick offensive rebound and draw a foul while getting the bucket. Just to get McKale Center out of their seats, Kadeem Allen had a steal, which led to a Gabe York alley-oop dunk.

“I was so happy…Some dudes on the team said I was screaming even before I dunked the ball,” York said.

Anderson would also go nearly perfect in the first half shooting 5-6 from the field with 12 points. Trier would be the only Wildcat outside of Anderson in double-figures with 10 points on 4-6 shooting. Their efforts would lift the Wildcats to a 42-23 lead going into the locker room at halftime.

Arizona didn’t allow the Tigers make a chance at a comeback and the Wildcats created space to put the nail in the coffin 67-34 with nine minutes left in the ball game.

Trier picked up where he left off following his career performance against Fresno St. with 27 points and finished Sunday night shooting 5-7 with 15 points. 

Trier would be one of three guards to post double-figures as Jackson-Cartwright and Allen combined for 2 points while shooting 1-10. York concluded the night with 16 points and went 75% beyond the arc. 

Simon’s minutes as well as his points increased as the second half progressed giving the Wildcats another spark off the bench. The freshman guard finished the night off with ten points and the bench as a whole polished the night off with 31 points.

“[Simon] doesn’t get a lot of reps in games, but we see what he can do in practice,” York said.

Tarczewski’s presence would not be missed, because the Wildcats’ defensive reputation made an appearance. Miller’s defense won the battle as the Wildcats had six steals to go along with three blocks and Arizona outrebounded the Tigers 44-27. The Wildcats barely held each Tiger in single-figures as Namon Wright posted nine points and four of his points came from the free throw line.

“Our guys did a really great job preparing for Missouri…we were able to play with some great energy tonight,” Miller said.

Arizona finished the game shooting 56.4% from the field and 41.2% beyond the three-point line. Six Wildcats finished the night in double-figures and Arizona improves to 9-1 on the season and will play Northern Arizona Wednesday night in Tucson for an 8:00 pm tip-off.

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