Arizona improved to 11-2 on Tuesday night with a 77-46 victory over New Mexico. Here’s a closer look at what happened.
Player of the Game:
Rawle Alkins - It was really a complete performance for the freshman against New Mexico. Alkins did a little bit of everything picking up his first career double-double, with 13 points and 11 rebounds. In addition, the guard had four assists and two steals. He didn't lead the team in any statistical categories, but always seemed to be right where he needed to be to grab an important rebound or stop a drive to the basket.
* The Wildcats started off the night with solid offense and stifling defense. Arizona was able to get ahead early with a fast 12-0 run that saw fans inside McKale Center standing until after the first media timeout. Kadeem Allen and Dusan Ristic were able to get on the board and Rawle Alkins capped the run with a three-pointer from the top of the key before the Lobos were able to make a basket.
* Both teams traded points to start the second half, but Arizona continued to stay aggressive on offense. Midway through the second period, Lauri Markkanen started to get going, hitting a wide open three-pointer followed by a runner in the lane. After a short timeout, Allen found Chance Commanche for an easy dunk in transition as Arizona capped a 7-0 run that put the lead at 58-29.
This was the kind of game that Arizona needed and you can obviously tell that the Wildcats built off of the positives from the Texas A&M game and fixed some of the negatives. Arizona came out with some fire, shot the ball well and got out to an early lead that allowed them to cruise the rest of the way.
In the past Arizona has tended to struggle at times when faced with the last game before the holiday break, but that was not the case in the win over New Mexico. The Wildcats were focused and stayed that way throughout the game. There is not a ton that you can take away from this game, but the way that Arizona was able to rebound from the let down at the end of the previous game and maintain the intensity throughout was a good sign in how the team can progress.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"One thing that was clear tonight," Miller said. "We were ready to play, and that was Game 13 in a short period of time with some younger players."