The 3-pointers just kept falling.
The No. 20 Arizona Wildcats sank 13 3s and used a 21-0 run in the second half to pull away from the Missouri Tigers and leave Columbia with a 79-60 blowout victory in their first road game of the season.
The Wildcats (8-2) were marred by foul trouble and turnovers, but it was a non-factor as they shot 13-24 from 3-point range.
Rawle Alkins and Kobi Simmons led all scorers with 19 points a piece, both of which are career-highs for the freshmen.
Kadeem Allen added 14 points and Dusan Ristic had 12 points and seven rebounds.
Despite the game starting at 10 a.m. Arizona time, the Wildcats hit five 3-pointers in the first ten minutes, while Missouri started 2-16 from the field, allowing Arizona to jump out to a 25-8 lead to begin the game.
The Wildcats were able to hold a double-digit lead up until the two-minute mark in the half after a hook shot by Ristic put them up 41-29 with 2:05 left.
But the wheels fell off for the Wildcats as their offense stagnated while Missouri scored on three straight possessions to cut Arizona’s halftime lead to just 41-36.
The Tigers made nine of their last 13 shots in the first half.
The second half was quite similar to beginning of the first half. Missouri’s offense was dreadful as it started 1-10 to start the period, while Arizona drained six of its first nine 3-point attempts, allowing the Wildcats’ lead to balloon to 71-45 with 7:31 left in regulation.
That was more than enough for the Wildcats to secure the road win.
In total, Arizona shot 47.2 percent in the game; Missouri shot 32.7 percent. The Wildcats led for all 40 minutes.
Final box score
I’m not sure anybody would have beaten Arizona today with the way it was shooting 3s. The Wildcats were 13-24 from downtown, and perhaps the most surprising thing is that Lauri Markkanen wasn’t the main player doing the damage.
Kadeem Allen — who had hit three 3s all season — drained four in this game alone, while Simmons hit three and Rawle Alkins hit four.
Sean Miller said he was surprised by such 3PT success: "I follow Kenpom and (Mizzou) was No. 1 in the nation at defending the three."— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) December 10, 2016
Markkanen did add two of his own, still.
It is time we start talking about how good Rawle Alkins has been this season. Against Missouri, the New York native had 19 points and nine rebounds (a career-high), and shot 4-7 from 3.
Alkins has now scored at least 14 points in each of the last four games, and is shooting 41.6 percent from 3-point range for the season.
Lauri Markkanen gets most of the attention when people talk about Arizona’s freshmen, but Alkins and Simmons have been as good, I think, as anyone could have expected them to be this season — if not better.
Arizona would be in deep trouble without them.
Turnovers and foul trouble
Taking care of the ball and staying out of foul trouble are two things that Arizona usually does a good job of, but not in this game.
Arizona had four turnovers in the first four minutes, nine in the first half, and 15 in total.
Four Wildcats — Simmons, Markkanen, Ristic, and Keanu Pinder — had two fouls at halftime and three finished with four fouls, plus Markkanen fouled out.
It resulted in Missouri taking 20 more free throws than the Wildcats, but the 3-point shooting differential erased that and more.
Weird game for Kadeem
It was a strange game for Kadeem Allen, to say the least. He had some really poor plays such as when he fouled a 3-point shooter or missed a wide open layup, and had a couple of head-scratching turnovers, but he also connected on four 3-pointers.
He was actually 1-7 on 2-point field goals and 4-8 on 3s. That is not something you would expect to see often.
This was Markkanen’s worst game as a Wildcat, but only because he wasn’t on the court. The 7-footer was in foul trouble all game and finished with eight points and six rebounds before fouling out with 2:56 left in the second half.
Markkanen played a season-low 21 minutes, and this was the first game that he did not crack double-digits in the scoring column at Arizona.
But given the way his teammates played — and shot the 3 — if there was ever a time to have an off-game, this was it.
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