University of Missouri

Three-point barrage paces No. 20 Arizona past Mizzou

Missouri's Mitchell Smith, from left, Rawle Alkins, Russell Woods, and Chance Comanche battle for rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, in Columbia, Mo.
Missouri's Mitchell Smith, from left, Rawle Alkins, Russell Woods, and Chance Comanche battle for rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, in Columbia, Mo. AP

Missouri hung with No. 20 Arizona for about 27 minutes Saturday at Mizzou Arena.

Unfortunately for the Tigers’ faithful, the Wildcats dominated the final 13 minutes in a 79-60 rout — delivering Mizzou’s 15th consecutive loss against ranked foes, including 12 straight on third-year coach Kim Anderson’s watch.

The Tigers, 5-4, spotted Arizona a 17-point first-half lead but used a strong finishing kick before halftime to make it a five-point game.

It was 50-45 after a pair of free throws by sophomore Kevin Puryear with 13:23 remaining, but it was all Wildcats from there.

Arizona, 8-2, used a relentless long-range assault and 46-28 edge on the boards, putting the game away with 21-0 run.

The Tigers entered the game with the top opponents’ three-point field-goal percentage defense in NCAA Division I basketball at 23.7 percent.

The Wildcats rendered that stat laughable, making a season-high 13 three-pointers — up from a previous high of eight this season — and shooting 54.2 percent on 24 attempts.

“They really mixed their (zone) defenses more tonight,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “ … It’s difficult to do that many things within the game. I think the thing that they wanted us to do was dare us to take some threes and test us, but we passed the test because our three guards had great nights from three tonight. If that wasn’t the case, that strategy would have been much more effective.”

Freshman guard Rawle Alkins paced the game-deciding 21-0 run with eight of his game-high 19 points during a 5:39 stretch after Puryear’s free throws.

Alkins also added a game-high nine rebounds, while another freshman guard, Kobi Simmons, added a pair of back-breaking treys midway through the second half.

Senior guard Kadeem Allen polished off the run with a three-pointer and a layup, part of a 14-point and seven-rebound performance.

“They made shots and the basket was big for them,” said Puryear, who led MU with 11 points and seven rebounds. “The basket shrank for us.”

Simmons matched Alkins’ game-high 19 points, while junior Dusan Ristic finished with 12 points, including two free throws during the Wildcats’ prolonged run, and seven rebounds.

Mizzou went nearly 10 minutes between field goals — from Puryear’s bucket with 16:15 remaining to senior Russ Woods’ layup at the 6:24 mark — and endured a nearly seven-minute scoreless drought as Arizona pulled away.

“We were trying to make the game ugly,” MU sophomore guard Cullen VanLeer said. “We did a really good job of doing it in the first half. The second half, they got a little run and we didn’t respond on the other end with any buckets. The lead grew quickly, and we couldn’t get it back.”

The Tigers continued to struggle from the field — shooting 32.7 percent, including 4 of 18 from long range, and connecting on a meager 20 of 30 free throws.

“We can’t continue to shoot the ball like we have,” Anderson said. “ … We get good shots sometimes and miss them, but I’ve been real politically correct about some things. We’ve taken some bad shots, too. We’ve got to get that corrected, and we will get that corrected.”

Missouri started the game 2 of 14 from the field, including 1 of 6 from three-point range, and Arizona built a 22-7 lead in the opening 9 minutes.

Emboldened Wildcats fans among the 10,151 ticket holders at Mizzou Arena — though the estimated actual attendance was 7,532 — felt comfortable enough to bust out a “U of A” chant, which echoed through an otherwise silent building.

It seemed inevitable Arizona would run Mizzou right off Norm Stewart Court.

Instead, the Tigers — who played without Texas transfer Jordan Barnett, a junior forward from St. Louis, for the final time — found a pulse and made it game by closing the half on a 7-0 run.

Freshman Frankie Hughes finished with 10 points on 2-of-13 shooting, while Woods and VanLeer added eight points each for Mizzou, which trailed 41-36 at halftime.

Sophomore guard Terrence Phillips left the game with 8:04 remaining after colliding with an Arizona player. Anderson said Phillips was being evaluated but gave no indication what the injury might be.

ARIZONA 79, MISSOURI 60

TableStyle: SP-bkwideplayersCCI Template: SP-bkwideplayers

Arizona

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

F

Pt

Markkanen

21

3-6

0-0

6

5

8

Ristic

28

3-8

6-6

7

2

12

Alkins

37

7-13

1-2

9

2

19

Allen

37

5-15

0-0

7

4

14

Simmons

37

8-15

0-0

2

4

19

Comanche

20

2-3

0-0

4

1

4

Pinder

19

1-1

1-2

9

4

3

Trillo

1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Totals

200

29-61

8-10

44

22

79

Percentages: FG .475, FT .800. Three-Point Goals: 13-24, .542 (Alkins 4-7, Allen 4-8, Simmons 3-6, Markkanen 2-3). Team Rebounds: 2. Team Turnovers: 13 (5 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Allen 2, Pinder 2). Turnovers: 13 (Allen 3, Markkanen 3, Ristic 3, Alkins 2, Pinder, Simmons). Steals: 4 (Allen 3, Alkins). Technical Fouls: None.

TableStyle: SP-bkwideplayersCCI Template: SP-bkwideplayers

Missouri

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

F

Pt

Puryear

27

4-10

2-3

7

0

11

Woods

25

3-6

2-4

6

1

8

Hughes

29

2-13

5-6

5

1

10

Phillips

16

0-3

3-5

2

3

3

VanLeer

37

2-8

2-2

2

2

8

Geist

26

0-5

3-4

2

2

3

M.Smith

15

2-3

1-2

2

1

5

Jackson

14

3-4

1-1

1

1

7

Walton

11

2-3

1-3

1

0

5

Totals

200

18-55

20-30

28

11

60

Percentages: FG .327, FT .667. Three-Point Goals: 4-18, .222 (VanLeer 2-7, Puryear 1-2, Hughes 1-8, Geist 0-1). Team Rebounds: 0. Team Turnovers: 8 (8 PTS). Blocked Shots: 1 (M.Smith). Turnovers: 8 (Woods 3, Phillips 2, Jackson, VanLeer, Walton). Steals: 7 (Geist 2, Hughes, Jackson, VanLeer, Walton, Woods). Technical Fouls: None.

Half: Arizona 41-36. Attendance: 10,151.

AP-WF-12-10-16 1921GMT

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