Day 4 – Championship Game
The Oregon Ducks faced off with a UCLA squad hurt by the loss of Jordan Adams in the Pac-12 title game. Johnathan Loyd helped the Ducks to a nine-point halftime lead as he scored 12 points in 11 minutes of play. Oregon shot 7-of-9 on three-pointers as they took a 41-32 lead at the half. Damyean Dotson was 3-of-4 on three’s and Carlos Emory hit his only two long-distance attempts. Shabazz Muhammad drew his second personal foul on a questionable charging call and sat down for the last eight minutes of the half. Oregon committed eight turnovers in the first seven minutes of the game and only three for the rest of the half.
Oregon maintained their lead throughout the second half. The Bruins pulled to within two and three points several times but could not get over the hump. The Ducks, led by excellent play by back-up point guard Loyd, made the key play time and time again as they won the Pac-12 Conference Tournament Championship game 78-69. Loyd finished with 19 points. He was helped by solid efforts from Arsalan Kazemi (12 + 12), Carlos Emory (20 points) and Damyean Dotson (13 points). Drew and Muhammad led the Bruins with 14 points each.
The All-Tournament Teams consisted of Jahii Carson (Arizona State), Larry Drew II and Jordan Adams (UCLA) and Arsalan Kazemi and Damyean Dotson (Oregon). The Most Outstanding Player was Oregon’s Johnathan Loyd.
Day 3 – Semifinals
In the second semi the Oregon Ducks took a 14-point halftime lead over Utah. Damyean Dotson was hot for the Ducks in the first half scoring 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Oregon is controlled the backboards, out-rebounding the Utes 35-28. Neither team took a free throw in the half. Oregon pulled out to a 19-point lead (41-22) with 15:26 and coasted to the 64-45 win. Dotson and E.J. Singler led Oregon with 14 points each. Utah’s Jarred DuBois did not score in the game,shooting 0-for-8 after scoring 43 points in Utah’s first two games of the tournament. The Utes shot 29.4% for the game. Oregon will face a short-handed UCLA team in the championship game. The Bruins will be without today’s star Jordan Adams who apparently broke his foot at the end of tonight’s game.
In another thrilling game UCLA can back from a nine-point second half deficit to top Arizona 66-64 and advance to the Pac-12 championship game. Jordan Adams scored 24 points for the Bruins and made a key late steal from Mark Lyons to help UCLA to the win. Arizona had the ball down 62-61 with slightly over a minute left when Adams came up with the steal. He was fouled by Kaleb Tarczewski (6 points, 13 rebounds) and made both FT’s. Tarczewski fouled out on the play. Grant Jerrett then hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 64. Kyle Anderson scored on an offensive rebound with 25 seconds left to give the Bruins the final margin of victory. Arizona had a chance to tie or win the game on the last possession but Solomon Hill missed a jumper. Anther key moment in the game was a technical foul called on Arizona coach Sean Miller with 4:37 remaining. Jordan Adams made both FT’s off the technical to tie the game a hat point. Adams took 13 free throws in the game, more than the nine attempts for the entire Arizona team . Freshman Brandon Ashley led the Wildcats with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting. UCLA only committed five turnovers compared to 13 for Arizona.
UCLA came back from a late 12-point deficit to defeat a tough Arizona State team 80-75 in game one of today’s quarterfinals. Two jumpers from Travis Wear enabled the Bruins to take a late three-point lead. A missed three-point attempt by Jonathan Gilling with five seconds remaining sealed the Sun Devils fate. Arizona State had control of the first 30 minutes helped by inspired play from 7’2 Jordan Bachynski (22 points, 3 blocks). Jahii Carson was solid again (21 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists) and Gilling (17 points) hit five three’s. Larry Drew was more aggressive offensively and led the Bruins in scoring (20 points on 8-of-10 FG). Both Shabazz Muhammad (16+9) and Wear (15 points) were important in the UCLA comeback. The Bruins out-rebounded the Sun Devils 39-31 and only committed six turnovers. UCLA advances to the semifinals against the Arizona-Colorado winner. Arizona State appears headed to the NIT.
Arizona pulled out to an 11-point halftime lead and survived a late run by Colorado to advance to a semifinal game with the #1-seeded UCLA Bruins. Nick Johnson played his most effective game of the season in Arizona’s 79-69 win. Johnson scored 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting including making both his three’s. Spencer Dinwiddie led Colorado with 18 points. The game was intense throughout and featured several excellent blocked shots for both teams. Arizona shared the ball well with 16 assists on their 28 made baskets. Colorado got to within 71-69 after Andre Roberson made two FT’s with a little over a minute left, but Johnson came back and made a nice hoop inside to move the lead back to four points. Arizona scored the last eight points of the game.
The Cal-Utah contest was close throughout. Cal had a one-point lead at the half helped by 13 points from PG Justin Cobbs. Cal tried to pull away in the second half but the Utes, playing their best ball of the year, hung tough. Allen Crabbe grabbed a key offensive rebound late, was fouled and made 1-of-2 FT’s to put Cal up three. Cal then fouled Jordan Loveridge on a three-point attempt. Loveridge made the first two, but missed the third. Utah was forced to foul and Crabbe made both attempts to put Cal up 59-56 with 18 seconds left. But Utah wasn’t finished as Jarred DuBois canned a tying three-pointer with four seconds left sending the game to OT tied at 59. Utah came out hot in OT with Loveridge scoring five quick points and Cal could not stop the momentum. The #10-seeded Utes went on to the big upset. DuBois led Utah with 21 points and Loveridge came on strong late with 20. Cobbs led Cal with 26. Utah advances to play the winner of the final game between Oregon and Washington.
The nightcap between Oregon and Washington was another barn burner. Close throughout, the game was tied at 62 with 1:13 left. CJ Wilcox hit a short jumper to put the Huskies up by two with 48 seconds remaining. Johnathan Loyd was then fouled after Oregon regained possession after a missed shot by Loyd. He made both FT’s to tie the game with 16 seconds left. On Washington’s final opportunity Wilcox slipped driving to the hoop and we had out second overtime of the night session. Oregon took a five-point lead in the extra stanza on a nice offensive rebound and basket by Arsalan Kazemi. Kazemi followed that with a dunk in transition and totaled eleven points in the overtime as the Ducks escaped with the 80-77 win . Oregon was led by an excellent effort by senior Tony Woods who battled all night in registering 19 points and 8 rebounds. Wilcox led the Huskies with 19 points.
The first game was a great one with Arizona State holding off Stanford in overtime 89-88. Jahii Carson scored 34 points to lead the winners while Aaron Bright led Stanford with 27. Bright tied the game late in regulation with a 4-point play. Carson was at his best in this one with super quick drives and solid outside shooting. He even hit 3-of-4 from three-point land. Carrick Felix was solid with 19 + 12. Bright almost matched Carson and hit 6-of-12 three’s. Dwight Powell added 23 for the Cardinal. Stanford only took 1 free throw in the contest, a Pac-12 tournament record for fewest attempted free throws in a game, compared to Arizona State’s 17. The MGM Grand looks like it will be an excellent place for the tournament. Pretty good crowd for the early games (much better than LA) and the whole setup is solid. The Sun Devils probably need to reach the finals to get an NCAA bid.
Colorado topped Oregon State 74-68 with little trouble and will face Arizona tomorrow night in an anticipated quarter-final. Colorado received solid performances from Josh Scott (10 rebounds), Spencer Dinwiddie (20 points) and Xavier Johnson (16 points, 8 rebounds). Jeremy Adams also contributed eight first-half points for the Buffaloes. Oregon State has been hurt this season by a lack of ball movement with no real point guard play which leads to very few assists and poor shot selection. Much of their offense results from one-on-one moves or shots resulting from passes on the perimeter. Eric Moreland (14 + 13 and 5 blocks) and Devon Collier (13 points) had solid performances for the Beavers. Roberto Nelson led Oregon State with 20 points but needed 18 shots to get them. The Beavers finish a very disappointing Pac-12 season with a 4-15 record.
In a game of runs, Utah held off USC 69-66 to upset the #7-seeded Trojans and advance to play Cal tomorrow night. The Trojans reeled off 12 straight points to close a 13-point deficit to 60-59 late. Utah responded with a Jason Washburn dunk and a jumper by Jarred DuBois to give them some breathing room. The Utes, playing their best ball of the year and coming off an easy win against then-#19 ranked Oregon, were led by 22 points from DuBois. They survived a loose ball scramble in the last few seconds where USC could not get possession of the ball for a potential tying three-pointer. 7’2 Omar Oraby (Egypt) led the Trojans with 18 + 10 and helped hold Washburn to 3-of-14 shooting. You wonder how USC would have done this season if Oraby received major minutes throughout the year. He certainly has talent.
In the finale Washington got out to a 56-37 lead before Washington State came roaring back to tie the contest at 62 with 2:44 left. Desmond Simmons’ inside hoop gave the Huskies a 2-point advantage. After a Cougar turnover and a missed Husky shot, Washington State had a chance to tie it or win it with 15.5 seconds left. However, a poor three-point attempt by Brock Motum ended Washington State’s upset chance in the 64-62 Washington win. Washington started out playing one of their better games of the season as the Huskies had their way with the Washington State defense early, repeatedly setting up easy baskets inside, including a number of dunks. Adbul Gaddy had what may have been his most effective game at point this year dishing out 11 assists. Then the Cougars made their comeback led by Motum’s shooting (5-of-7 three-pointers, 28 points) but a big guy like that should have more than one rebound. Washington plays Oregon in tomorrow night’s finale in what should be an interesting game.