Missouri forward Kevin Puryear shoots in front of Arizona center Dusan Ristic (14) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri
December 13, 2015

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Kadeem Allen poked the ball free, chased it down and headed toward the opposite end of the court. Glancing over his left shoulder, he saw Gabe York trailing with a clear path to the basket.

Instead of taking on the lone defender by himself, Allen flipped the ball toward the front of the rim, where York seemed to fly in from the rafters to throw down an alley-oop that brought the McKale Center crowd to its feet with a roar.

''I've been waiting for that for a long time,'' York said after No. 13 Arizona rolled over Missouri 88-52 Sunday night.

York and his teammates have been waiting for a game like this, too.

Though they had lost just once, the Wildcats had yet to really put together a complete game, playing well for a half or in spurts to pull out victories.

Even with center Kaleb Tarczewski (foot) sidelined for the fifth straight game, Arizona (9-1) was at full force against Missouri, blowing out the Tigers before they knew what had hit them.

Arizona raced out to an 11-point lead in the opening minutes and pushed it to 19 by halftime. The Wildcats didn't let up, either, stretching the lead in the second half to extend the nation's longest home winning streak to 44 games.

It was Arizona's largest non-conference win over a Power 5 conference school since beating Kansas State 125-87 in 1997.

''We strung two halves together, which in the past two games we really haven't been able to do that,'' Arizona coach Sean Miller said. ''It's not necessarily who we were playing, but who we were.''

Arizona shot 56 percent and had 20 assists on 31 field goals. Six players scored in double figures, led by Mark Tollefsen's 17 points. York had 16 points, Allonzo Trier 15 and Ryan Anderson gave Missouri fits inside, scoring 14 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

The Wildcats overwhelmed the smaller Tigers inside all night, outscoring them by 16 in the paint and outrebounding them by 17.

Missouri (5-4) also had trouble with Arizona's length on defense, shooting 30 percent and going 2 of 14 from 3-point range.

Freshmen Kevin Puryear and Terrence Phillips, Missouri's two leading scorers, combined for 11 points on 4-of-19 shooting.

''The whole night is disappointing,'' Tigers coach Kim Anderson said. ''They played really well. I give them a lot of credit. I thought our confidence was shaken a little bit and at times they were playing above the rim and we were just standing there watching them.''

The Tigers spent some unwanted time in Lubbock, Texas, after their plane experienced mechanical issues. Kim Anderson was worried his team wouldn't get its morning walkthrough, so he held practice in an airport hangar with a makeshift ball and a court marked off on the floor.

It didn't get much better when Missouri arrived at the McKale Center.

Arizona jumped on the Tigers from the start of a fill-up-the-highlight-reel first half.

Soaring in for dunks and knocking down 3-pointers, the Wildcats raced out to a 15-4 lead in the opening 4 1/2 minutes. Arizona poured it on again with an 11-0 run later in the half, bringing the already-revved-up crowd to its feet when Allen turned a steal into the alley-oop to York in transition.

The Tigers never stood a chance after that.

''Arizona is a really good basketball team,'' Kim Anderson said. ''We missed some shots and when you do that against a team like Arizona, they are going to make you pay for it.''

ALLEN RETURNS

Allen was a question mark after spraining his right ankle against Fresno State on Wednesday, an injury that left him unable to put any weight on his right leg.

He not only started against Missouri, he moved as though he hadn't been injured at all. Allen missed all four of his shots, but teamed with Parker Jackson-Cartwright to orchestrate Arizona's offense to near perfection.

''The man's a fighter,'' Tollefsen said. ''He's a real competitive guy and a gamer, loves to play just as much as anyone or more than anyone, so I knew he would come back as soon as he could.''

TIP-INS

Missouri: Phillips had seven points on 2-of-9 shooting. ... Puryear shot 2 of 10 for four points. ... Missouri shot 9 of 29 in the first half and went 1 for 9 from 3-point range.

Arizona: Junior guard Elliott Pitts missed his second straight game due to what Miller said is a personal issue. ... The Wildcats have won 30 straight nonconference home games.

UP NEXT

Missouri hosts North Carolina State on Saturday.

Arizona hosts Northern Arizona on Wednesday.

You May Like