COLUMBIA, Mo. – Arizona nailed a season-high 13 3-point shots and went on a 21-0 second half run to bury Missouri 79-69 today despite suffering nearly team-wide foul trouble.
UA forward Lauri Markkanen and guard Kobi Simmons had four fouls and two others had three, straining the limits of the Wildcats’ seven-man roster, but the Wildcats hung on with efficient offense and a defense that help keep the Tigers to just 32.7 percent from the field.
Simmons and Alkins led UA with 19 points each, with Alkins hitting 4 of 7 3-pointers and Simmons going 3 for 6. Kadeem Allen added 4 of 8 3-point shooting while totaling 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Alkins and Keanu Pinder each had nine rebounds to lead the Wildcats on the glass.
Arizona shot 47.4 percent overall and was 13 of 24 from 3-point range, while Missouri made just 4 of 18 3-pointers.
Leading by five at halftime, Arizona managed to expand its lead to 53-45 with 13:08 left thanks to 3-pointers from Allen and Alkins. It was 71-45 by the time Allen made a layup with 7:31, and at that point foul trouble was nearly irrelevant.
But it didn’t look that way at halftime. UA took a 41-36 halftime lead but went into the locker room without momentum because of foul trouble and Missouri’s late scoring.
Four of the Wildcats' seven available scholarship players picked up two fouls in the first half, including Markkanen, while Arizona let leads of up to 17 points shrivel down to just five at halftime.
Arizona kept Missouri to just 1 of 9 field goals at the start of the game but Missouri recovered to shoot 37.9 percent for the half. As it turned out, it was offense that kept the Wildcats going more than defense: UA hit 7 of 14 3-pointers, with Alkins, Markkanen and Allen each making two.
Alkins led the Wildcats in first-half scoring with 11 points, while Pinder had seven rebounds.
Arizona raced off to early leads of 13-3 and 25-8, its only early misstep coming when Markkanen picked up his second foul with 12:59 left. Markkanen sat out for four minutes before returning with 8:54 left.
Arizona was playing for its 10th game without guard Allonzo Trier, who has been dealing with an unspecified eligibility issue.
Trier and Arizona's three injured players -- Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Ray Smith and Talbott Denny – did not make the trip to Missouri they dealt with final exams and, in the injured player's cases, avoided the possibility of swelling during the long airplane flight.