Friday night’s matchup between No. 10 Arizona and No. 12 Michigan State at the State Farm Armed Forces Classic in Honolulu was the first game of the college basketball season matching ranked teams, and after a slow start by the Wildcats the game managed to live up to the hype. Arizona trailed 17-2 at one point, but managed to come back and in the end it was senior guard Kadeem Allen who won the game for the Wildcats (65-63 final score) with two big plays in the final seconds.
With seven seconds remaining following a Tum Tum Nairn game-tying three-pointer, Allen dribbled the length of the court and made a layup with 19 seconds remaining to give Arizona a 65-63 lead. That would hold as the final score, with Allen’s steal of the ensuing inbounds pass preserving the victory for Sean Miller’s team.
Allen was one of three Wildcats to finish the game in double figures, scoring 13 points on 3-for-11 shooting from the field. Freshmen Kobi Simmons and Lauri Markkanen were the other double-digit scorers, with Simmons scoring 18 points off the bench and Markkanen added ten points. Michigan State freshman forward Miles Bridges led all scorers with 21 points, but he was the Spartans’ lone double-figure scorer on the night.
Arizona is currently playing with just eight scholarship players. Forward Ray Smith retired after suffering a third torn ACL in as many years during the preseason, and leading returning scorer Allonzo Trier is still out of the lineup for undisclosed reasons.