As has been the case all year, Arizona overcame an at times sloppy effort to put their opponent away in a 72-53 win over Missouri in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.
The Wildcats were led by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Brandon Ashley with 15 points apiece. Hollis-Jefferson once again came off the bench, shooting 5 of 6 from the field and 4 of 4 at the free throw line.
Freshman Stanley Johnson also chipped in 14 points on 4 of 8 shooting, to go along with 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a blocked shot.
Arizona forced Missouri into 17 turnovers, converting them into 24 points as the Tigers seemed to wear down as the game went on.
With Kaleb Tarczewski in foul trouble, the Wildcats got a boost from freshman Dusan Ristic, who had 7 points in 8 minutes of action. He showed some offensive skill, converting down low and also hitting a three point shot.
Arizona struggled to hit the long range shot, making just 5 of 16 shots from beyond the arc. Frequent trips to the free throw line helped sustain the offense, as Arizona shot 19 of 25 from the charity stripe.
Despite an off shooting night for TJ McConnell, the senior point guard recorded 9 assists, bring his season average to 9 assists per game.
Next up is a second round matchup with Kansas State in the tournament semifinals.