Reaction: Mizzou vs. Arizona

The Tigers had 17 turnovers in the 21-point loss to No. 3 Arizona.

After hanging on in the first half, Missouri (2-2) eventually fell to No. 3 Arizona 72-53. The Wildcats (4-0) stepped up their shooting in the second half, relying on a suffocating defense to limit opposing points.

The Tigers held a lead for some of the first half, and trailed by just five points at the half, but 40 second half points from the Wildcats sealed the win.

Here are some thoughts on the Tigers.

Missouri needs to limit turnovers

The Tigers turned the ball over 17 times Monday, which can be credited to Arizona’s stingy defense. Mizzou’s turnovers mainly came when trying to get the basketball inside, especially when the shot clock began to run down and guards forced the ball into the paint.

Sophomore guard Wes Clark committed a pair of sloppy turnovers that ended a number of runs.

The Wildcats finished the night with 24 points from turnovers.

Arizona’s defense was able to deny penetration into the paint by allowing space behind the arc and limiting the Tigers to attempting contested field goals. This forced dangerous passes from Missouri guards, leading to inevitable turnovers.

All 17 of the Tigers’ turnovers were forced.

The zone defense works … sort of

Mizzou’s zone defense was highly effective in the opening half, thanks to weak shooting from Arizona. The Wildcats shot just 2-10 from three in the first 20 minutes, and by clogging up the middle, the Tigers forced Arizona to become a jump shooting team, something the Wildcats struggled to do.

When Arizona was able to get the ball into the gaps of the zone, the Wildcats took advantage of more open shots down low. By getting the ball low, the Wildcats outscored Mizzou 26-20 in the paint. This strategy was mostly evident at the end of the first half and leading into the second.

The Tigers switched to man-to-man in the second half, which allowed more penetration down low and more success for the Wildcats. Arizona’s offense drastically improved in the second half, as they shot 11-23 in the final 20 minutes.

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