Rawle Alkins drops 26 as Wildcats win 89-73 in New Mexico
Rawle Alkins scored a career high 26 points on 9-for-11 shooting in his first start of the season Saturday as Arizona Men’s basketball improved to 8-3 after beating the New Mexico Lobos 89-73 at The Pit in Albuquerque.
Alkins was playing in just his second game of the season after missing the first nine games with a broken foot. Despite looking a bit rusty last week as he came off the bench during his season debut against Alabama, he made his way through the Lobos defense Saturday and scored at will from all over the floor. He started the game off 4-for-4 from the floor and 3-for-3 from three. Alkins took freshman Brandon Randolph’s place in the starting lineup.
New Mexico was down 16 at the end of the first half, but came back and kept the game close in the second half behind Alaskan junior Dane Kuiper’s 24 points and career-high six threes. Kuiper shot 7-for-10 from the floor while the Wildcats struggled to guard him. But, it was not enough for the Lobos to overtake Arizona, and they fell to 3-8 on the season.
Allonzo Trier also had 22 points and five assists while Deandre Ayton posted his ninth double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds for Arizona. Ayton made his 7-foot-1 presence felt under the rim by getting several blocks and dunking on the smaller New Mexico players. Throughout the game Trier would routinely drive toward the basket, draw the double team off of Ayton and then throw the ball up for him to bring it down.
As a team Arizona shot 64 percent from the floor and 69 percent from three. It held the Lobos to 39 percent from the floor and 35 percent from deep and out-rebounded them 35-23. Arizona also outscored the Lobos 42-20 inside the paint.
Freshman point guard Alex Barcello sat out of the game for Arizona after suffering an ankle sprain last week in practice. With Barcello out, senior point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright picked up two fouls early in the first half, creating a shallow point guard situation for Arizona. Parker then picked up two more in the second half forcing Miller to let Trier and Alkins handle the ball while Parker was on the bench. Parker still played 27 minutes and finished with eight points on 3-for-5 shooting.
Arizona comes back home to play North Dakota State Monday at the McKale Center at 7:00 p.m. on PACN.
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