Alkins leads No. 23 Arizona over New MexicoPosted: Updated:
In his second game back from a broken foot, Rawle Alkins scored a career-best 26 points to lead No. 23 Arizona to an 89-73 win over New Mexico on Saturday night.
The Wildcats (8-3) hit a season-best 9 of 13 3-point attempts with Alkins making all three of his attempts.
Allonzo Trier had 20 points with five assists and freshman Deandre Ayton had his ninth double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds for Arizona.
Dane Kuiper was 6 of 8 from 3-point range to finish with a career-high 24 points for the Lobos (3-8).
Early in the second half, the Wildcats built their lead to 52-33 before New Mexico, pulling within 76-69 after a 3 by Kuiper with 5 minutes left, but that was as close as the Lobos could get.
New Mexico had won three of the last four meetings between the schools in Albuquerque, the last time coming in January 1999 in a game that had such a controversial ending that then Wildcats coach Lute Olson refused to return to The Pit.
The Lobos, losers of eight of nine, turned in perhaps its strongest outing of the season. Although well under-sized compared to the Wildcats, New Mexico only trailed the battle on the glass 35-23 and it had a 13-7 edge on second-chance points.
New Mexico plays a frenetic, pressing style of defense, but Arizona, which had issues with turnovers this season, had only three in the first half and 10 overall, its second lowest of the season.
Arizona starts a three-game home stand Monday against North Dakota State, with the finale of the trio coming Dec. 30 against upstate rival, No. 5 Arizona State.
New Mexico is home Tuesday against Rice. This was the opener of a four-game home stand that culminates with the Mountain West opener Dec. 27 against Air Force.
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