By: Sam Corman
The Missouri men’s basketball team fell to 5-4 on the season in a 79-60 loss to No. 20 Arizona on Saturday Dec. 10. In one of the season’s most anticipated matchups at Mizzou Arena, the Tigers hung in through the first half, but were dominated by Arizona’s speed and shooting late in this game.
Arizona’s starters carried play throughout, especially in the 2nd half. Rawle Alkins was a force for the Wildcats; his 4-7 3PT led him to 19 points on the day: a total that matched his freshman teammate Kobi Simmons for the game-high. Arizona finished the day with a remarkable 54.2 3PT% (13-24), and a stunning four of five starters shot at least 50% from beyond the arc.
Mizzou played their best basketball in the final 10 minutes of the first half. After starting the game 1-10, the Tigers closed out the opening half 10-19 to cut Arizona’s large lead to five at the half. Puryear led Missouri with 7 rebounds as the Tigers lost the board battles 46-28. Puryear also led the team with 11 points. Mizzou’s second half featured an 8-26 shooting mark and just 24 total points against a much taller and larger Arizona team.
Mizzou falls to 5-4 on the season and 4-2 at Mizzou Arena. They host Eastern Illinois on Dec. 17 before facing Illinois on Dec. 21 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The Wildcats head home to Tuscon to face Grand Canyon on Dec. 14 before battling with Texas A&M on Dec. 17 in Houston.
Today’s attendance of 10,151 (67.3%) at Mizzou Arena was the most this season. Their total attendance on the season of 30,982 is just 34.3% capacity.