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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pac-12 Tournament Semifinal: Arizona vs. Oregon, 7 p.m., Pac-12 Networks, after Wildcats survive Colorado 82-78

LAS VEGAS — The Arizona Wildcats won a close one in the second round of the Pac-12 Tournament, defeating the Colorado Buffaloes 82-78 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Allonzo Trier scored 23 points for the Wildcats and Ryan Anderson added 17 as Arizona held on despite nearly blowing a 17-point first half lead by the final minutes of the second half.

Arizona jumped out to a quick start on the Buffaloes, leading 13-2 after 5:40 of play. The Wildcats were led early on by their defense, as they forced Colorado to shoot only 25 percent from the field while blocking eight shots and forcing 10 turnovers in the first half.

Arizona found itself leading by as many as 22 in the first half at went into halftime up 37-20.

“I really was very excited about our team at halftime,” head coach Sean Miller said. “Our defense was as good as it’s been all year. You could see we had a group that was committed and really played with tremendous energy.”

Colorado, however, began to trim the lead late in the second half.

A 14-point Arizona lead with seven minutes to go shrunk to seven points by the 5:06 mark.

Arizona held onto a double digit lead through the next few minutes, never allowing the Buffaloes to get close too close.

Josh Fortune hit a 3-pointer with 1:39 left in the game to keep the Buffaloes alive, putting the score at 71-64 Arizona. Anderson followed that up with a layup and-one on the other end to put the Wildcats back up double digits, 74-64.

Colorado’s Josh Scott came back the other way with a 3-point play of his own with 1:04 to play trim the lead to seven. Xavier Talton scored a layup that brought Colorado within five after Kadeem Allen missed two free throws.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright knocked two free throws on the other end but Thomas Akyazili scored on another layup to keep Colorado within five with 32 seconds to play.

Trier scored two more free throws but Fortune hit another three to bring Colorado within four with 19.3 to play.

York hit two more free throws to put Arizona up 80-74. Akyazili made one of two free throws on the other end to keep Arizona up five. However, York missed two more free throws and George King scored on a three with 1.9 seconds to play to bring the Buffaloes within two.

York then made two freethrows to seal the game for Arizona.

“We were up 17 and thinking that things were going to keep going the same way in the second half,” York said. “It wasn’t a good [second] half for us but we have to have a short memory and pick it up tomorrow.”

The Wildcats shot 46 percent from the game but committed 15 total turnovers.

King led all Colorado players in scoring with 22 and Scott added 16. The Buffaloes defeated Washington State 80-56 last night to advance and face the Wildcats.

As a team, Colorado shot 34 percent from the field while also out-rebounding Arizona 51-35. They shot 21-25 from the free throw line and outscored Arizona in the paint 34-24.

“They’re the best rebounding team in the conference,” Miller said. “I don’t know if a team I’ve been a part of have suffered that type of beating on the glass that we did, especially in the second half.”

Arizona now has until tomorrow before it faces Oregon at 7 p.m.

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