Freshman sensation has big game for #10 Arizona in win over Cal - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Freshman sensation has big game for #10 Arizona in win over Cal State Bakersfield

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Freshman Lauri Markkanen scored 26 points and No. 10 Arizona held off a furious second-half rally by Cal State Bakersfield for a 78-66 victory on Tuesday night.
Jaylin Airington scored 31 for the Roadrunners (1-1) and led a 17-0 run that cut Arizona's lead to four with 9:04 to play. But Markkenen, a 7-footer from Finland, sank a 3-pointer, converted a three-point play and made a short jumper to lead the Wildcats out of trouble.
The Wildcats (2-0) were without starting senior guard Kadeem Allen, who sprained a knee in Arizona's 65-63 victory over Michigan State last Friday in Honolulu.
Rawle Alkins made 4 of 6 3-pointers and scored 15 for the Wildcats and Kobi Simmons added 13. Both also are freshmen.
Dedrick Basile added 14 for Bakersfield.
Arizona was up 44-26 at the half and was cruising along when a tip-in by yet another freshman, Keanu Pinder, gave the Wildcats a 53-32 lead with 14:45 to play. Arizona didn't score for the next 6 minutes, 46 seconds.
The McKale Center crowd fell into an uncomfortable silence when Damine Durham's basket cut the lead to 53-49 with 9:04 to play.
A ruckus under the Arizona basket finally woke the Wildcats up.
Chance Comanche went up for a layup and was hit hard by a pair of Bakersfield defenders. Some shoving occurred with Comanche lying on the court and officials called time out to review the incident on video.
Taze Moore was called for a flagrant foul two and Comanche ended the long drought by making one of two free throws with 7:59 left. Arizona got the ball out of bounds on the play and Markkanen sank his only 3 of the night to boost the lead to 57-49.
He also converted a three-point play with 5:51 left and made a short jumper with 5:17 to go, giving the Wildcats a 64-54 lead and they held on from there.
Cal State Bakersfield: The Roadrunners were not cowed by the atmosphere and look like WAC contenders.
Arizona: After the opener against a big name school, the young Wildcats fell into a lull with a big lead. That might not have happened if Allen had been available.
The absence of Allen left Arizona with only seven scholarship players with a particular shortage at guard. It got even worse when Jackson-Cartwright got into foul trouble.
Cal State Bakersfield: returns home to face UC Santa Barbara Saturday night.
Arizona: Plays the second of three straight home nonconference game against teams from lesser conferences, facing Sacred Heart on Friday night.

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